Saturday, June 9, 2007
It was great walking about… the term “oh the humanity” comes to mind… crowds of people walking about, shopping and looking at the things being sold on the sidewalk (how they keep the cows from walking across them I am not sure!). Its funny how these very same things are displayed and sold in the same fashion in Brasil, Mexico, Guatemala and Nepal. No doubt the Chinese instructed street merchants world over in how to carefully display cheap plastic objects, counterfeit watches, socks, plastic toys, DVDs and software, and all sorts of male and female underwear so to impede pedestrian traffic on sidewalks the world over. No doubt it is part of their plan, to clog traffic in all countries, and then build shopping malls. (a note to my Nepali friends who are reading this – that was a joke… hehehe). At any rate, I like walking about, and being looked at – sometimes people look at you with a stare, others smile, there is the occasional “Namaste”.
I like my neighborhood – it seems normal – it is not the tourist part of town, it is where people coexist with the cattle and live and work. I think I enjoy this much better than being left to my own devices in a hotel surrounded by a high wall, and detached from reality.
The pictures I am posting here are from Yesterday’s trip to Bhaktapor… the green hole is down the well that I was standing by in yesterday’s posting. I was thinking that had my son Spencer been here, he would have broken into Sasha Cowen’s song from the movie.
Rumor has it the strike was cancelled – or settled… I think so as there is traffic noise… I will be able to know when I post this in a bit.
It was cancelled all is back to normal…
Woke up to a nice steady rain… a morning monsoon, I gather… the driver called to ask if I still wanted to go (yes!), and Professor Tika called to ask the same (yes!). They are taking turns taking me places… and after Sergio, the UNESCO rep’s feedback it was decided that Prof Shashidar would work on the proposal, and that Daniel and Tika would go with the university driver to Bhaktapur and then to Boudha to see the enormous stupa there.
Bhaktapur is astonishing… a Nepali Ouro Preto in red brick and over a thousand years old… it rained on and off, which didn’t dampen our spirits at all. After about 3 hours and a decision on my part to come spend the evening and day there… we were driven to Bouda to see the enormous stupa.
Tika and I were tasked with finding things mathematical in Bhaktapur… so there are hundreds of things to be developed and studied…
Thursday, June 7, 2007
People are too good to me… first I have a driver to and from work. Then I am in the university guest house… so I get breakfast and dinner, and a very, very nice room on the top floor of the house with my own bathroom, and balcony. While at the campus a young man appears periodically with a tray of tea cups... they serve it hot and with a lot of sugar and milk... I am getting to be rather fond of it, actually. Everyone calls each other "sir" here...
There is a very nice family that lives in the guest house and worries about me.
When I want to take shower/bath… I bring my bucket down stairs and ask Navaraj to bring me hot water. So then I dump a bunch all over me, soap down, and then repeat (of course this is in my bathroom, not downstairs).
Its all rather fun, and funny as the bathroom is completely set up with knobs for hot/cold water… it is just that the water doesn’t go to my floor… ahh… the price I pay for a good view!
This morning I got up and asked Navaraj to call me a taxi, he arranged for a guy to take me to Bodhnath... but instead I was taken to Swayambhunath. (Pay attention gentle reader as there will be a spelling test later…) The difference between the two is that one is on the other side of the city from the other… about half way there I realized that he was taking me to the other… I thought to myself, “self… that is ok; I wanted to go see this place as well.
Besides playing havoc with my spell checker, Swayambhunath is amazing. Up on a hill above the city, you climb through a forest and are visited by monkeys. Enjoy the “snaps” as they are called here. On the way back to the house to change before work… there were two cows being fed white bread by a woman at the temple by the house, I was run off the sidewalk by a small herd of goats… and I enjoyed these dogs on the way up to Swayambhunath temple. Must go as I need to post this and the “snaps” before our meeting with the UNESCO representative…
Note: after posting this, I was invited to yet another meeting... on the way a MONGOOSE ran across the road!
cows (sacred variety of course): 16
mongoose (nongeese? mongosses?): 1
monkeys: 2 dozen at least...
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I find that I am going to bed early – about 9 – and so rise early as well. So after my morning ablutions were performed and tea, then breakfast I set out on my own.
Took a taxi to Shahid Gate and walked to the Durbar Square…
I wonderful two hour walk amongst a diversity of architecture, traditions, religious customs and just a lot of very interesting people going about their day. Enjoy the pictures…