Posts Tagged ‘ petan ’

Nepal #2

Today wasn’t any less marvelous than yesterday, just different. In the morning we had an early breakfast again and ventured off to Petan and Bakthapur. Petan was awesome. We walked around the square for a while and ventured out into the rest of the city. I stopped at a hemp store and walked up to their organic products. We spoke to the Japanese woman who was running the store; her Nepalese husband walked in and swiftly began talking to us, telling us about his stories in San Francisco, how he met his wife, and what was going on in the store. They’re making it into a bed and breakfast or hotel. I got to see the construction of the upper floors. It will look amazing. They have a great business and great products. My mom and I got a few things. He then showed us a bed and breakfast, already established, down the block that is owned by a friend of his. It was beautiful. I’ll ask my mom for the card, I totally would advocate and say that people should stay there. We walked around to see several Buddhist and Hindu temples. They were gorgeous. The second half of the day was in Bakthapur, which both my parents and I were much less impressed with. It was much, much, much more geared towards tourism; which is pretty hard to do because this whole area is geared like that. However, people ran after you and tried to cajole you into taking them as your guide or to buy their products. Even the kids were more direct than in other areas. They wanted pictures, they wanted it now and were very demanding. A tour guide followed us for quite some time. Everything was shops and marketing. It didn’t have charm. It did allow my parents and I to sit down and enjoy family time in another way. It was awesome beautiful family time.
After we got back, Manoj and I went back, and got lost getting to our new friends. We made up the story that we invented them in our heads last night; they weren’t there, even after we went to get a snack and went back to their store.

Ways Kathmandu (Nepal) is different than Pune/Bombay (India) that I’ve noticed: The dogs are healthier and fluffier; the people look healthier (they have a much more meat based diet); the kids are cheekier (one little kid hit me in the butt while I was standing outside getting a chocolate); there’s less trash in the city but just as much if not more in the river, people are much, much nicer; everyone says Namaste as you walk by (this is in Pokhara, not Kathmandu), it’s more polluted, the driving is a little calmer but the roads are very similar; like India, there is no Nepali face – people can look Nepali but there doesn’t seem to be just one typical face.

The trip to Pokhara was a lot longer than we wanted it to be. After a nice breakfast we took off in a little Toyota. The traffic is better but our driver was the most defensive driver ever; jerking off to the side of the road and slowing down as approaching cars sped towards us. Manoj and I both thought that he would get eaten alive in India. After reaching we went on a long walk and had typical Newari food. It was super yummy. We kept thinking along the way that the pollution would clear – it did and didn’t at the same time. It’s not polluted but there is still no visibility. Unfortunately, we won’t see the Himalaya’s. It’s not the full reason we came, but it’s one of them. This morning, following a later breakfast we took a long short hike. My parents are amazing. I’m not trying to say they’re old, because they don’t look it and they don’t act it, but I’d like to see anyone else their age do the walking they did. They’re taking a whole different atmosphere in really well in fact. I can’t wait to show them India. They did 3 days in Delhi, but I wasn’t with them. I’m worried about the heat. It’s been so nice to walk around, to feel cool at night, and not feel like the hot breeze is going to knock you off your feet. Tomorrow, back to Kathmandu, after, maybe, paragliding!

Nepal and Parents!

There’s going to be a lot of back and forth in the next few posts. Last weekend we were in Baroda and that draft is saved in my email, which I don’t currently have access to because my data card is mysteriously not working. Therefore, I’ll continue with other posts and backtrack later.
I have to backtrack to further into last week when I finally decided to do something I’d been thinking about since college, getting my nose pierced. I wanted to get it done after the marathon, as a kind of marker or something; the weekend after I was supposed to get it again with Kritika but our timings got missed up and if I didn’t get it on that Tuesday, I was going to call it quits. We ran into her cousin who had just come from getting her nose pierced from the same place. Apparently it’s the place to go. The jeweler sharpened the ring, held my nose with the tongs and pointed out what the problem was with my nose in order to distract me from the fact that a ring was piercing through my nose. It didn’t really hurt, not more than for a few seconds, and then it was done. I hated it the first few moments but by the time I got home I was already used to it. It’s been 2 weeks now and it’s healing well (knock on wood).
What I find strange is that most folks didn’t comment on it when I saw them afterward. In my office, some of my friends, and I’d say 90% of the kids I work with didn’t comment or maybe even notice at all. What a lot of people said after I pointed it out to them is that they noticed and wanted to say that it was looking nice but were distracted by work or didn’t get around to it yet. Only a handful of people said something as soon as I saw them. Many gave an excuse that my face is very fit for a piercing so it just seemed natural that I’d have one. I also think that nose rings are so common here that many people just don’t see them anymore. There are reasons why people get their nose pierced. I’m still not sure if it has something to do with caste. Many kids get it done when they’re 4 or 5, some younger, some older. I heard that the old wives tale says that there are health benefits in getting your nose pierced. In the north, they pierce the left nostril, in the south, the right. No one I asked knows why. Mine is on the left. Maharashtra is considered northish.
The big news is that my parents are here! Well they’re not here they’re in Delhi. They arrived on Sunday and have been being tourists in the north waiting for me. I’m on my way tonight (tomorrow early morning) staying up so that I don’t miss my flight. I’ll regret it later, but I have writing to catch up on, work to do, and last minute packing and cleaning. I’ve been working even more lately. I got a promotion, which is super exciting but also a bit overwhelming; it’s great and exciting. Back to my parents, I’m so excited to see them; I’m excited that they’re having fun in Delhi

We’ve landed in Kathmandu. It’s a very interesting experience because I want to compare it with India; it has many, many similarities, but is also very different at the same time. It’s definitely much, much more polluted than anywhere I’ve been in India. People here are concerned about it enough to walk around with facemasks on. People wear similar clothing, but different. There are so many foreigners, mostly European and American. I’m staying in a pretty classy hotel thanks to my parents. I’m pretty happy about that. It’s supposed to have internet connection, but it’s so slow nothing will connect, therefore this post will continue to grow until my dashboard can load.
I ran into my parents as I was checking in; it was really exciting to see them. They were done already and waited for me to check in. We got food and chatted about this and that as if no time passed between now and last December. It was really nice. I miss them. Due to my bad sleeping habits the previous night – I didn’t sleep for more than an hour – I passed out on both plane rides as soon as I hit the seat. The ride to Delhi I had a stopover in Nagpur and I didn’t even wake up as they were cleaning the plane, only when they shook me to ask if the bag above was mine. When we arrived in Nepal, I had to stand on the line to get a visa, bare getting the worst picture ever taken and attached to my visa, and we were taken to our shmancy hotel. It’s not really that fancy but it is pretty nice. It’s beautiful actually. The décor is very elaborate and “ethnic.”
The original plan was to go to the jungle and go on a safari type thing. Apparently the hotel my mom was booking through stopped responding to phone calls and this brought about a change in our plans. I’m a mountain person, and, I feel like I don’t want to be led around by some enslaved elephant, even though I know that at some level their lives aren’t that bad and maybe better than living in the wild with fears of being poached. Anyway, we’re now reworking it to go to Pokhara! I’m very excited about the prospects of seeing the Himalayas, I wish I could go trekking, but I won’t; instead I just get to stare in awe at their beauty. I’m so excited!
Tomorrow we’re meeting Manoj for lunch and a walk around. He gets to travel whenever he wants as long as he has a computer to work. Am I jealous? Very! I wish I could just take off right now and hike throughout the Himalayas, venture through the conservation area and live in the woods for a few months. I miss space and open air and breathing knowing that I’m not ingesting soot, chemicals, and burning garbage that might potentially harm my health in the long run.
After dinner tonight I went on a walk in search of a small bottle of cocoanut oil for my nose – I’m supposed to apply a little in the morning and evening to help healing. Instead I found caccha mango candies. We looked for this candy in over 5 shops in Baroda to no avail. Instead, I happily find myself sucking on little caccha (raw) mango candies in Nepal. I don’t think I ever thought I would think or say a sentence like that in my entire life. It’s funny where life takes you.