A moment in Kathmandu
would be heading back to the airport early the next morning
to depart for London. So I had the afternoon to finish my
talked to a very nice Nepali woman at the Hotel Desk about
where I might locate a yak bell. And where the Nepalis do
their shopping in Kathmandu. Based on her directions, I headed
out of the tourist section.
It was a fascinating
afternoon, certainly the best I had in Kathmandu. Somehow
I felt like I was less of a stranger. I was much more confident
of my ability to find my way around. And the streets just
seemed friendlier and more familiar, even though they were
still crowded and there were taxis and tuktuks (3 wheel motorbike
taxis) beeping and weaving through the pedestrians and the
air was so dirty that a lot of people wore surgical masks.
But it didn't make me feel claustrophobic or rushed.
As I left the tourist
section (Thamel) following a street named Asan, I left behind
the shops with fake name brand trekking gear and expensive
souvenir shops and tourist restaurants and pashmina shops.
The street grew even narrower and in some blocks there was
rubble instead of pavement.
The streets were
crowded with Nepalis of all descriptions shopping or socializing
or transporting things or going from place to place. People
watching was never better.
And still nobody
was talking on a cell phone.
of this day
The next day
travelogue is part of the subside