Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Namaste ...Greetings from Nepal!!

First full day here in Kathmandu. What organized chaos it is here. What would be considered back alleys in the states are major roads thru town here. Two cars barely fit side by side and the humor only gets exceeded when you have 4 deep people walkiing through the streets and mortorcycles jockeying for position. It all seems to work, somehow. A very curious culture.

Since there are regular planned power outages, when the electricty went out, nothing stops....every shop owner and restaurant has their little Honda generator and the pull them out, plug them in, start them up and Mardi Gras starts right back up. Dinner became even a more intimate experience with candlelight in the restaurants. It is very temperate here (reminds of me of new orleans) so just cool enough for a jacket but not so cool that the outdoor cafes are not the better choice to eat.

It is curious that somehow the India and Chinese grid all tie together with Nepal and so India and China being the big men on campus demand that nepal give up 8-10 hours of electricity a day. So in a city (kathmandu) where smog is ahorrible problem (the smell of wet burned wood -acrid is everywhere), the government somehow makes the situation worse with now nighttime powering by home generators instead of building new more efficient plants. Go figure.

I am hoping to get some good pictures of the chaos that is kathmandu later, but in the meantime, here are two little items. When getting through the airport and the hundreds of porters demanding to carry your bags (smile and keep moving...dont engage), as I got into the chosen taxi to get me to the hotel, I was given a marigold lea as a welcome gift. As I got off the plane, we were given orchid pins. Here is them both. The other is a pic you'll have to look closely at the middle of. I need help from my bird watchers. It is a white headed raven. Very noisy all night! But somehow as a Baltimorean....it was comforting!

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