August 14, 2007: Kathmandu
After a good night's sleep, we had the breakfast buffett in the hotel which is quite good. Then we met
with Bharat. It was good to see him again. I gave him the pictures from our trip from last year.
Bharat then took us on a walking tour through the heart of Kathmandu. We spend a few hours doing
that, going into courtyards, exploring back alleys with little temples and stupas. Off the beaten path
so to speak and not easy to find for a tourist. One of those temples now houses a school and we had
a lot of fun with the kids who constantly wanted their pictures taken and also wanted to see
themselves then on the little camera screen.
We finally made it to Durbar Square and spend some time there. We went into the Kumari Ghar,
home of the Kumari, a living goddess. After being there for a few minutes, we found out that the
Kumari would show herself at one of the windows shortly. She finally appeared for about 15-20
seconds and waved at the gathered tourists and worshippers.
We continued to explore Durbar Square and nearby Freak Street and some of the shops there. Then
we made our way slowly back to Thamel.
We continued shopping in Thamel. Finally, finally, we went into one of my favorite stores...Pilgrims
Bookstore! Of course, I had to buy a couple of books there. Then we went to Bharat's house which
is just north of Thamel not far from the Malla Hotel. We went up to the roof terrace from where in
non-monsoon times one has a great view of the Kathmandu valley. But as it was raining heavily,
you could only see rooftops. But that was ok. We sat under a roof and had many cups of tea. We
met Bharat's mother and his sister, whom I met last year. Then his brother Purna came and we went
to his room to watch the pictures I brought from our trip last October. It was way past 6 pm until
we left, but not before Purna invited us for dinner the next night which we happily accepted. I told
him, however, to go light on the spicy stuff, at least for me! We walked back to our hotel and Marc
and I had dinner at the Chinese Restaurant. Went to bed and watched some TV.
I told Bharat that Marc wanted to buy a Thangka and that he should get us to a store of one of his
friends. So we went there, but as it takes a long time to sit there, select something and bargain, I
said, let us have lunch first. I was starving. So we had lunch first. It was raining hard. We waited
until the rain let up some and then went back to the Thangka shop. After a long, drawn-out
negotiation phase, Marc finally bought the Thangka he wanted of a protector god. Very nice.