Dead puppies aren't much fun

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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Baburaja and the motorbike

This morning Baburaja had me hop on his motorbike for a tour of the city.  It was pretty cold this morning (I could actually see my breath for once) so it took a while to get it started.  I was a bit nervous at first because traffic can be crazy, but he seemed to be driving very conservatively for my sake.  We rode out to Boudha which is a stupa similar to the monkey temple but is the largest in Nepal.  It was covered in pigeons for some reason.  We also stopped into a monastery nearby which had great views of the stupa.

After that, we hopped back on and stopped for some breakfast.  We had Nepali tea and the same donut like things from the day before, as well as a spiral thing made of syrup and what looked like a large fried tortilla.  Everything seems to be very sweet here, sugar and fried foods are everywhere!  Baburaja then took me to a temple that I couldn't go in because I was a foreigner.

Tempos
  We then went to Pashupatinath, a very old Hindu temple.  It's located on the river and is where bodies are often cremated.  I was able to watch a cremation and see some of the holy men who demand money for pictures.  There were monkeys all over here as well.  I couldn't go in any of the temples, but Baburaja got me close enough to peek in and I could see in one a huge golden bull.

As Baburaja was starting the motorbike to leave I heard this little boy saying "Poppy, poppy" over and over.  I turned and saw a 2-3 year old trying to wake a puppy.  I saw him lift the stiff dog and realized it was dead.  It was really quite sad.  I pointed it out to Baburaja who didn't seem to think it was a big deal at all!

When we got back we had some lunch before I headed out to Thamel again.

Poor poppy
  This time Juli wanted to see Freak Street which used to be big with the hippies.  We walked most of the way there.  I stopped at a bangle shop and we tried to put them on but couldn't.  The woman grabbed my hand and squeezed until she got three of them on.  (Apparently that's the only way to do it, it's impossible to slip them on normally).   I then asked her to take them off and she gave me a strange look and said she can't!  I just started laughing at the thought I'd have to wear these things forever, but the man said you can't just take them off you need vaseline.  So he greased up my hand and we got them off, but still pretty funny.

We got to Durbar Square which Baburaja had driven me through that morning.  They charge you to go in, but we just wanted to get to the other side.

Julie & I at our last drink
  We decided to take a rickshaw, but realized after a bit he was going too far and in the wrong direction.  We finally just had him stop and walked until we found it.  Of course, after all that Freak Street really wasn't that interesting so we just hopped another rickshaw and headed back.  But the adventure is getting there right?

I then headed over to Bhurungkel where the family was waiting with Nirmala's sister and two nieces.  They played with me on the couch while I had my tea and then we all walked for about half an hour together.  At that point, they went home and Nirmala, Baburaja, and I took a tempo to the Russian Cultural Center.A tempo is something like a covered pickup truck which can fit six people comfortably.  Only thing is that we had 16 people, which meant people were sitting on laps and one poor woman had to stand on the back bumper and hold on. 

At the Russian Cultural Center was the New Year Celebration.  First we watched a powerpoint from the Russian ambassador to Nepal and then someone discussed the new website.  After that were some traditional Nepali dances and singing by some young girls.  Then everyone went down for food in the lobby.  The appetizers were momos, peanuts, pakori (fried vegetable), and french fries.  It was amusing because when the waiter came with a fresh plate, the men just swarmed around with their toothpicks and kept shoveling the food in their mouths until it was gone.  Needless to say, I didn't get to try everything.  They then had a nice buffet of Nepali food before we walked back to Thamel.  Traffic was a bit hairy, so Nirmala held my hand the whole way, though I don't know how that was going to protect me from the cars hurdling towards me.

Once in Thamel, I walked over to join Julie for a farewell drink at some local bars.  I then headed back to Burungkhel to find another blackout.  Nirmala had promised to leave the door unlocked, but the neighbor below had locked it.  So I climbed up the stairs in the dark and was locked out.  I yelled for a bit but no one heard me.  I saw a taxi drive by and asked him if he had a phone which he didn't.  Eventually I just walked to a local hotel where men with flashlights led me to a phone and didn't even charge me.  I had to wake them up, but at least I got in.

firearmsanddementia says:
That poor poppy made me cry a little. Glad your having so much fun on your trip and none of our fears, as communicated by dramatic hand-gestures over African food, have come to pass.
Posted on: Jan 17, 2008
TravelingShannon says:
I love your posts. Everything sounds so interesting. By the way you were asking what you could get me and bangles sound good. They are also small so you can travel with it.
Posted on: Jan 12, 2008
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Baburaja and the motorbike
Baburaja and the motorbike
Tempos
Tempos
Poor poppy
Poor poppy
Julie & I at our last drink
Julie & I at our last drink
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher