Kathmandu

            Today was awesome. It was full of everything. My mom is feeling better and was like a new person at breakfast. When far away from home, no matter how old you are, it’s always nice to have your mom wake you up nicely and sit with you for a while. We had a nice long and late breakfast and sat around in the morning, chatting, reading, discussing the rest of the trip. Manoj met us for a walk and lunch. We went to Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, walked around more, ate some really yummy biryani and Nepali food and my parents ventured home, we walked with them and then kept going to the Monkey Temple, but not before a long walk around everywhere. We saw a different part of Kathmandu, a newer area with real roads (not shared pedestrian/vehicle). It was much different than the old part of Kathmandu we’re staying in.

            We made our way to the Monkey Temple and at a certain bridge junction we looked back. There were huge, dark, unfriendly looking storm clouds above our heads. Of course I had to use the bathroom (I take it as a good sign that I’m drinking enough water). We went down to one temple below the bridge to no avail. On the other side of the dusty bridge where the burning trash brushed by our faces, we looked back and decided if it was wise to continue our journey. The clouds were scary! We carried on to the temple across the bridge and climbed the stairs. I was a little freaked out and we walked through the inside of the temple compound, I was hoping to get a break from the coldish wind and find a bathroom. The woman pointed me to the man who wasn’t really there. Instead some kids pointed me to a bathroom outside of the compound. I pushed the door open and will choose to spare you from the way I would describe the smell and looks. I couldn’t do it. We decided to continue our journey. The kids accompanied us to the bathroom area and then back. They said that there was a week or so when the weather was like this because of the Horse Chariot Holiday, or a holiday similar to that. Manoj and I were both a bit confused but smiled and went on. We had a nice walk and finally got to the temple (but not before I used a restaurant bathroom that was not nice, but anything was better than the other one). Due to the crazy spitting rain and dark clouds, the temple was quite empty. There were mini temples on the way up the many steps to the main temple at the top of the hill. We paused at times to look back at the clouds, see where the lightening was coming from and check out the view. The view from the top was amazing, ridiculously amazing. I wish I could upload pictures, I promise to send the link via facebook later. It’s not to be missed. I kept joking about us being at the top of the mountain with a metal roofed building. We went around the temple rolling the prayer cylinders, sometimes looking up when the lighting struck and not touching the metal. After a round, we went to check out the view for a while. The only thing I could compare it to was being at the top of a mountain in Arizona looking at far off rain clouds and seeing where it was raining. The only difference is that we were in the storm clouds. It was barely spitting rain the whole time, and our way down we sat at the bottom and just let the sun finish setting and the last of the lightening storm.

            Our way back consisted of an amazing pit stop. We paused to listen to some locals play an electric guitar along with a small djembe like drum. We were invited up to the storefront to listen; after a few refusals to enter the store and sit on the couch, we complied, made friends with the musicians and store owners (all around our age and younger), had tea, a sip of rice beer and some other drink, and spend 2 hours sitting and playing random songs on the guitar either in English, Nepalese or Hindi. We promised we’d go back tomorrow. They were so nice, like so, so, so nice. It’s funny how music can just bond people, it doesn’t matter the language or culture. It didn’t hurt that they knew a Nirvana and Pink Floyd song. They even sang an old Peter, Paul and Mary song translated into Hindi.

            At around 9pm we wished them goodbye. They invited us to hang with them tomorrow, they’d take us to another temple, but I have plans with my parents. We said we’d join them again in the evening. They were so nice.

            It didn’t end up really raining and the lightning stopped so we made our way back to our hotel area and got some really great dinner. It was such an experience of a day!

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