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February 21, 2008 - Kathmandu, Nepal

Written by GingerBlossom Published in

Yesterday's notes are pretty depressing, it was a shocker to see the straits that Nepal is in, but the Nepal-ness is still here. Morning's alarm clock is crowing roosters, followed by the ravens calling, then the brief but intense Halleleujah Neighborhood Dog Chorus, and finally the sun breaking over the hills of the Kathmandu Valley.

I tried to get breakfast in my room this morning, I can sit at my window and plan out the day, but the Potala's restaurant had neither electricity nor cooking gas. The trip to Indian Airlines to get my ticket was futile as well, no electricity there until 2 pm. It's ok, I'll just have to find out what part of town has juice at what hour, and work around it, as everyone does here.

Later - I did see Amrita, the singing bowls this year are wonderful. Some of the thicker, mid-sized ones would almost start to sing when the stick was still an inch away. Some of them do sing, I mean really sing, loud, clear, no wavering. I tried playing the machine made ones, they are just dead in comparison. The hand-hammered ones zing with energy. Found some men's shirts as well that I hope people will like, the price is certainly right.

Also saw the Yeti brothers, that's another sad story, one bro has immigrated to Canada, family and all, they are sad about it, but just feel that there is no future here for the kids. I hear that a lot. It's the same thing that my great-grandparents did, left the Old Country and never looked back - but just as my family went from being German to being American, will the Tibetans no longer be Tibetans? As the Chinese try to assimulate Tibet, will it simply cease to exist?

I did have dinner at the Tibetan restaurant across the street, they were jammin', so I offered to share my table with a single woman who came in - she was really interesting, did fashion design for the big European fashion houses, works out of Delhi. She said that the borders out of Nepal are now all closed, including northern borders, as she has a friend who wanted to cross to Chinese Everest base camp, but can't get through.

Just the airport is now open, so flights are full. Reminds me of a few years ago, when instead, the airport was closed, and I thought I might have to walk out to get to India - I had asked why she worked out of Delhi, she said that for haute couture its all hand sewing, and best hand seamstresses are out of Delhi and Mombai and FYI, fashion is going to go back to a romantic look.