Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Streets of Kathmandu

Some of my favorite images have been of street life in Kathmandu. Within Thamel, the tourist section where I am staying, it’s a web of narrow streets that gently meander. It’s nothing like Morocco or Rome where you think that you will never get out of the tight maze. After a couple of days I got the hang of it and can even return to my hotel without asking for assistance.

Within these neighborhoods life boils and simmers depending on the time of day.  No matter what time, the neighborhoods are inhabited by an endless sea of people going somewhere or trying to sell you something.  “Madam, just look, it’s free to look”, “Where are you from”- meaning I can be your guide or take you trekking are incessant comments.

Small cars, motorcycles, trishaws, bicycles, pedestrians, homeless dogs abound all walking and driving not only on the left but every which way.  So far I have not been hit or had my feet nipped but a few jumps behind a pole helped.

It’s the start of Monsoon season here which means that its rains most afternoons for a bit and in the evenings sometimes quite heavily.  The streets can get very muddy and full of puddles on the already uneven cobble or rutted street.  All this just adds a bit more to the chaos.

Here is the requisite group of sacred cows that have decided to sit down in the middle of a moderately busy street as morning rush hour was getting going.

A look at a shopping district at with a mix of old and new;  buildings, dress style. Throngs of people living their everyday life at about 11 am.

Haircuts are available on the street, small food markets all over and even a tailor

At the end of the day I stumbled upon these young girls playing in the street creating fun with the little that was available to them.

KTM is smaller and the people less aggressive than in India. Despite many opportunities in very close spaces, I have not been groped.  While I have received a few proposals for “love” in this rainy season which they define as a time for romance, its all been very manageable.  ;-)  Kathmandu has been a good place to pause. 

Today for the 4th of July and I have been invited to the American's Club by my hotelier- another 1st for me.

On Friday I head to Sri Lanka for a world wind tour before returning home.

Hope you are enjoying these blogs

Carpe Diem,