In America, Money Grows on Trees
Kathmandu Travel Blog› entry 34 of 49 › view all entries
June 24th, 2006 – by: umbralwalker
Today I visited Pashupatinath, a Hindu temple that stands on the banks of the holy River Bagmati. This is a special place, one where believers come to say their last goodbyes to their dead loved ones. After an offering of flowers and prayers, the shrouded body is raised on top wooden logs and a fire is lit.
When I arrived at the temple, two fires were burning, two bodies being raised to the heavens in the form of smoke and ashes. The smoke stung my nostrils as I sat in the shade of a tree- stinging my soul. The perfect place to comtemplate life and death.
But there was to be no contemplation. This 18 year old kid came over to me and started talking to me. Communication was a bit strained because his English wasn't so great.But he managed to say stuff like "Oh your boyfriend in America must be so handsome, because you are so beautiful" and all this other crap. He followed me everywhere! He was so young, I just didn't have the heart to shoo him away. I tolerated him for about 4 hours- and I had had enough! As I started to break away under the excuse that it was time for my afternoon nap, he started asking me for money.
I was so upset! I told him that I was really angry with him for pretending to be my friend all day and then asking me for money. He continued following me around and asked about 20 more times before I finally managed to board a bus and leave him behind.
I feel like I just cant trust anybody here. Behind that Nepali smile, it seems there is all too often an alterior motive- money.
It's okay to scam me. I am a westerner- where I come from money grows on trees!!
From now on I will reserve my donations for the lepers I encounter on the streets. I know they aren't scamming me. They can't fake the loss of their limbs, fingers, toes, ears, and noses. Unfortunately- their condition is for real.
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