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February 7, 2012 - Kathmandu, Nepal

Written by GingerBlossom Published in

Nepal seems to be one step forward and two steps back this year.  Severe shortages of everything, food, power, petrol, kerosene.  The restaurant at the hotel closed because they couldn't get cooking oil.  My mask maker is not taking orders, he says that he's not sure if he can get them done with the power outages.  He also pointed out that the amount spent by individual Nepalis on generators, diesel from India, back-up batteries from China, etc. could pay for a new electric station in one year.

I got busted for stalking today.  The Khampa (people of the Kham region of Tibet) are known for their bravery, banditry, and their good looks, I can attest to the latter.  I saw a Khampa in Thamel today.  Since I'm not fond of being stared at while traveling, I tried to not openly gape and instead surreptitiously gazed at thankas in a window and tried to do an eyes lowered sideways stare.  That was fine until he went inside, and  I really really wanted to see if he had Kham boots on or not, so of course I had to follow.

He'd disappeared in a little 10 X 10 room - freaky - then I saw that there was a small corridor leading off to more thankas. Curiosity made me follow and I almost ran him over.  He was laughing, so I guess my stalking was not so subtle.  Jason Bourne, your job is secure, and I will have more empathy when I'm surrounded by shreiking What is Your NAME kids.

There are lots of travelers in Kathmandu now, and not the usual trekker/rasta ones.  I've seen the Khampa, as well as three Sri Lankan monks, and a gaggle of women and children from Bhutan.