This picture cannot adequately give you the full experience of the traffic, people, animals, pollution, noises...honking and engine sounds...it's overwhelming to the senses. You must watch your step due to pot holes, animals, people, and any other assortment of issues, as you also watch for your store. I am getting good at crossing the street through traffic~ this is a real art. There are NO pedestrian laws here and so far, I have seen only one crossing light and people follow the light rules only partially! :) Keeps you alert!!!!
The beautiful bookstore where we will get our books for the library and supplies to help support the scholarship schools.
I've been in Kathmandu for four days now and will return to Bandipur today after lunch. It's been a successful trip since I was able to go to the EKTA Bookstore and choose many of the books for the library, visit with a Nepali friend~ Ramita, get my technology issues settled, and do a little shopping. For some reason things seem to take longer here (at least for me) in Nepal. In America I can do all of those things in one day, and here it seems to have taken me four days and I was "working hard"!!! I think there is just a difference in life in general~ just moving through the city of Kathmandu can be a challenge as the traffic is horrendous at times. I have also moved in and out of feeling ill and it is always a challenge to know if what you are about to eat is "safe" or not! I just think, "That which does not kill you makes you stronger", I hope it's true.
Flooded street in Kathmandu...people are swimming!
The rain has been torrential and one day as I stepped off the curb to get into a taxi my entire leg disappeared up to my knee in a puddle....OMG! I thought....that is so not good. I climbed into the taxi, smiled, and told the driver where I needed to go. People were literally swimming through the street and sidewalks and I could feel the water under the small taxi as well. Oh well...it all ended well I made it to Ramita's office in Thamel.
Shopping in Thamel is fun! The shopkeepers all want to make a deal with you, especially now since tourist season has not really started yet. Once they know you are American or European they instantly hike the price 5x. I understand, but find this practice to be annoying since I am not a rich person myself. I believe in a fair price and I always error on the side of graciousness with tipping and paying for services and goods, but I don't like being "ripped off" regardless...it's a matter of principle. I have left many a deal because of this.
Yesterday I needed to buy an umbrella because I left mine in the manager's bag when riding the bus to Kathmandu. I stopped by a shop where a little Nepalese woman was working. She showed me the different types of umbrellas and we chatted for some time. She had only one eye because when she was a child she was very active and despite her parents warnings to not be so active, she still was, and one time literally poked her eye out. (Poor thing...) she was telling me this story. She said that her parents told her each year they would get her another eye, but each year they were not able to...She was so matter of fact and as I listened I tried to really listen and empathize with her. I told her I was sorry that happened to her, but that I was glad she still had one eye and how I thought she was quite pretty! She smiled and said..."Yeh, this is good...just this." (she was putting her hands on her hips and pointing out her body!) It was so cute! We spoke English and Nepali together (poorly~ I may add) and it was fun! I wish I had taken her picture now...but I did not. :)