Nepali Again


This blog entry about the events of Saturday, October 23, 2004 was originally posted on October 26, 2004.

DAY 371:  I thought perhaps since Nepal wasn’t a Christian nation, a Sunday would be an ordinary day, with things open.  However, things in the Thamel district were even more dead than before.  When I finally lugged out my laundry to “the cheapest laundry service in town” (a whole big load for about three bucks, washed/dried/folded), I had to wait for it to be done the following day because the laundry guy had the day off.

That’s not to say the entire city was shut down.  Being the touristy Thamel district, more than enough stores were still open — despite the weird extra added army cops stationed around (picture above) as if they knew something we didn’t — to cater to the few tourists wandering around wearing either hippie attire or mountain gear.  After energizing with a lovely steak and eggs breakfast, I went wondering, yet again, in the continual effort to gradually come back to normal, day by day, after The Incident on The Everest Trail that almost took my life.  Each day I was getting better, and each day I was blending in more and more like a Nepali again.

One familiar place I found was one of the several branches of Baskin Robbins in town, the only Western franchise that I’d seen make it out to Kathmandu (although I could be wrong).  No McDonald’s, no Subway, not even a KFC — which surprised me because KFC from what I’ve seen is the most worldwide American fast food restaurant, miles ahead of the Golden Arches.  Anyway, I stopped in for one of the 31 flavors — they only had 13 — and then continued to mill about town. 

I sort of went on a shopping spree with bootleg CDs, buying ones I always meant to buy (i.e. Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits) and even some that I already owned but missed listening to (Oh, how I’ve missed my Prodigy!).  It didn’t matter, each was between one and two bucks, as cheap as the big load of laundry I sent out that morning.

The Nepali woman at the counter of the CD store saw me come in and immediately greeted me in Nepali.

“Sorry, I don’t understand,” I said in confusion.

“Oh, you’re not Nepali?  I thought you were Nepali!”

With that said, I was finally 100% again with my “super power” of blending in as a local.  I was finally back in business.  Now if I just had some clean clothes…

If this is your first taste of this Blog, please forgive me for how lame this entry is; I didn’t have much going on as I was recuperating from an almost-fatal incident on the trail to Mount Everest, which you can read about here.

Next entry: Reunions

Previous entry: In A Dark Back Alley

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Comments for “Nepali Again”

  • GREETINGS FROM DELHI, INDIA where I’m FUCKING PISSED OFF because I just wasted an hour of my time in this internet cafe because the FUCKING system here corrupted my save and I lost an hour of work on the entry that should be after this one—just when I thought I could type things in a cafe and be less dependant on my laptop too…

    Back to the ol’ iBook tonight…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  08:58 PM

  • Any good local music? I’d be curious to hear what’s popular there.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  09:10 PM

  • Wow - amazing about the lack of Golden Arches… good for them, though!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  09:17 PM

  • Cure for Altitude Mountain Sickness & Hangovers = greasy food

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  09:31 PM

  • yeah, I’d be curious about the local music too.  I always buy CDs from places I go.  A friend once brought me back a dance CD from India - it’s pretty catchy!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  09:47 PM

  • steak and eggs look great now matter where you go!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  10:03 PM

  • glad to hear you’re a 100% smile i’m excited to see your pictures from India! neeraj’s parents just came for a visit, ate some good home cookin’! n smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  11:04 PM

  • I agree with you on the KFC thing… I was surprised!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  11:31 PM

  • Welcome to India!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/26  at  12:23 AM

  • Here’s something connected to TGT and Markyt’s passion for wifi:

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/26  at  12:34 AM

  • it’s FUCKING good to know yo’re better and off Nepal!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/26  at  06:28 AM

  • ROBIN:  I don’t know which came first, but a lot of music heard in the streets is Indian subcontinent-inspired loungey music, like in the Buddha Bar CDs.  I don’t know if that’s because a lot of foreigners are from Europe and are into that scene, but it seems the Nepalis listen to it as well. 

    Also, that’s not to say I didn’t hear Eminem on the street too.

    Other “traditional” music was also heard—although generally it was just pumped out into the streets for tourists to buy them because it’s “different.”  A lot of Buddhist chant CDs played over and over and over and over and over….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/26  at  07:18 AM

  • Can’t wait to read about India!

    Posted by Liz  on  10/26  at  07:28 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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