First Timer to Kathmandu

I’m in a new city, in a new country. People speak a different language and eat different food. Everything around me is strange and overwhelming. Kathmandu is not like other Asian cities I’ve visited. Awkward moments abound as I struggle to practice speaking Nepali to blank stares. I always say I have a good sense of direction, but here I prove myself wrong, getting completely lost only blocks from my hotel. Horns are always honking, bike bells dinging, dogs barking. Wonderful smells of curry or incense waft from kitchens and shops, but are quickly overtaken by pungent fumes from defective engines or discarded food or tabocco. Shopkeeps smile and are friendly, but do a poor job of masking their desperation. People are still reeling from the devastation caused by the earthquakes, but are trying to get back on their feet. Understandably, they are concerned about reduced tourism in a time they need it most, working in a business that depends on it. I pass by one empty pashmina shop after another, and can’t help but feel sorry for the owners who each shoot me a hopeful glance. It’s still monsoon season right now, and tourism is traditionally low at this time, so I can only hope more foreigners will come to the city next month.

I am enjoying the opportunity to struggle and feel uncomfortable. It’s fun to observe my own reactions, to learn, and to grow. I honestly feel exhausted after walking around for only a few hours at a relaxed pace because my senses and mind have been buzzing with strange stimulations.

I met with my trekking company yesterday for final arrangements, and by the middle of next week I should be heading to the far west town of Darchula to begin my trek of the Great Himalaya Trail. But first, I’ll take a plane and then a ~17-20 hour bus ride. I’m looking forward to getting out of the busy city and into a more relaxed, remote area.

Here are some images from the last few days around Thamel, the tourist ghetto in KTM. I can’t upload images from my camera right now, so bear with the cell phone quality!

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Rickshaw driver hoping to drum up some business

Newari snacks

Newari snacks – SO TASTY!

Somehow electricity works here, most of the time. Other than the rolling blackouts.

Somehow electricity works here, most of the time. Other than the rolling blackouts.

Yeah I've had bed bugs during my travels in the past and its awful. #neveragain #bambuhostelperth #sojudgeme

Yeah I’ve had bed bugs during my travels in the past and its awful. #neveragain #bambuhostelperth #sojudgeme

Around Kathmandu

Around Kathmandu

Pashmina shop

Pashmina shop – just one of the MANY.

A seller on the street

A seller and her child on the street

A delicious mix of seeds and nuts. Shortly after I took this picture, a poor elderly woman asked if I could share this snack with her because she was hungry so we ate this together and tried to break the language barrier.

A delicious mix of seeds and nuts. Shortly after I took this picture, a poor elderly woman asked if I could share this snack with her because she was hungry so we ate this together and tried to break the language barrier.

A lovely tree offers a breath of fresh air on this street.

A lovely tree offers a breath of fresh air on this street.

The front of a simple shop in an older building

The front of a simple shop in an older building

Out one of the windows from my room.

Out one of the windows from my room.

A view from the roof of my hotel on my first morning in Kathmandu.

A view from the roof of my hotel on my first morning in Kathmandu.

11 Comments

  1. weekendmodeller August 7, 2015
    • Michelle Marie August 7, 2015
  2. dipendraprateik August 7, 2015
    • Michelle Marie August 7, 2015
      • dipendraprateik August 8, 2015
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  4. Lupo August 7, 2015
    • Michelle Marie August 8, 2015
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