In America, Money Grows on Trees

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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A ritual burning of a body at the Pashupati temple. A world Heritage sight next to this sacred river. Notice the color of the river-now imagine how it smells.
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.
ophirh says:
Nepal is one of the worst countries in the world with people scaming you for your money. Wait for India, that's another one...
Posted on: Jul 29, 2006
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A ritual burning of a body at the …
A ritual burning of a body at the…
On the left is this 16 year old ki…
On the left is this 16 year old k…
Check out this mini-van- now imagi…
Check out this mini-van- now imag…
A view from the monkey temple
A view from the "monkey temple"
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This is why its called the "monke…
Still the monkey temple
Still the monkey temple
This guy was giving me a mindi tat…
This guy was giving me a mindi ta…
It should last for a month or so.
It should last for a month or so.
Nepali Peanuts and Beer-  They s…
Nepali "Peanuts and Beer"- They …
Typical market on the streets of K…
Typical market on the streets of …
A shrine set up next to the market
A shrine set up next to the market
A woman at her apartment window, w…
A woman at her apartment window, …
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher