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February 21, 2009 Kathmandu, Nepal

Written by GingerBlossom Published in

Gack - I'm sitting at the airport, enduring eggy burps and a jumpy stomach, which portends only one thing - a bout of ghiardia. I thought that I'd escaped the scourge, but no such luck. At least I've got two silver bullets in my purse, packages of Norfloxacin and Tinidazole. Dr. Blossom did the diagnostics and prescription; just about anything is an OTC drug in Nepal.

There's the most beautiful cat up on a table at the airport restaurant, he almost looks like a pixie-bob. Anyway, he was trying to eat a paper napkin, it had food stains on it (tho he looked well-fed enough) so I fished a still-warm half eaten chicken or veg. patty out of the garbage (yeah, I know, no class, no pride) and he started nawing on that. I can't see that happening at O'Hare - this was even in the part of the airport after the security checks.

My camera got a work-out this morning, I hiked up to Swayanboudanath, or the Monkey Temple, named as such for all of the monkeys who live there. It was early enough that there were still offerings on the shrines and statues, so the monkeys were gobbling them down. Pigeons have a field day as well. Today was some kind of festival, sorry, I don't know what, but there were long lines of devotees with their offerings and the heady smell of thousands of burning butter lamps. It was my consolation prize for not getting out to Boudanath this year. My dream business trip to Nepal would include a small garden apartment in Bouda or Kalanskistan, a mountain bike to get around on, and a month to do what I cram into 9 days.

Coming down from Swayamboudanath, I took a wrong turn, and got in the middle of in-coming water bombs. A group of little boys were practicing for Holi. or the Springtime water and colored powders festival. They were sweet enough to invite me to play, but I told them that I only play on Holi. That's a big fat lie - after going out on Holi once, now I barracade myself in the hotel if I'm in India or Nepal during that day. Last time in Kathmandu during Holi, I watched from the roof top as the revelers tore the street signs down - it just gets too wild.

Yesterday I'd managed to squeeze in visits to both Gurung Brothers. I secretly think of them as the Pirate Brothers, they are both really sweet guys, just one is missing an eye, and the other one has a mouthful of gold teeth. Anyway, this time they did have a chest full of the old coin necklaces from the Therai, which I haven't been able to get in a few years. Yo ho ho....

If my flight actually takes off today, in 24 hours I will be up in Northern Thailand.