This week is a special week – I’m devoting my posts this week to Kathmandu. However I don’t feel like being as ‘wordy’ as I normally am – instead I want the photographs to do the talking (However, this post is the exception!). I’m going to abandon my normal posting schedule; instead each day this week I will release a photo essay on Kathmandu – the people, buildings, markets, and sites.
The first time I came to Kathmandu in 2008 it defeated me. I was in major culture shock. But slowly the city with all of it’s noise, dirt, color, and people charms you. From that first trip I made some lifelong friends – the Gurung family from Puma. My dad and I only had one day left on our Nepal adventure. The 25 days seemed to go fast, and there was something bittersweet about our last day. Not only were we leaving this magical country we experienced together, but we were also leaving our friends.
After a morning of exploring Dubar Square, Giri invited us to his family’s home to meet his brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. We gladly accepted. For me, any chance to see how local people live is my travel ‘high’. In addition, I knew we’d get some great food! Giri picked us up in his car and took my father and I outside of the tourist area of Thamel. The noise became more faint, the motorbikes and rickshaws started to disappear, the old run down buildings evaporated before my eyes; to my surprise we entered a normalcy in Kathmandu. We had left the mad house and arrived in suburbia.
We were welcomed into his home with open arms and enjoyed sitting and talking to his very well-educated and traveled family. His brother and family had lived in Singapore for the last 20 years as a Gurkha. The conversation was wonderful, but the food was even better. By far this was the best meal I had on this trip. We had Dhal Bhat, chicken wings, curd, juice and the food never seemed to stop!
After lunch Giri surprised us with another treat – a personal tour from him of the sites of Kathmandu. We went to Boudhanath Temple, Pashupati Temple, Monkey Temple, and even saw the bording school that Giri himself attend as a young boy.
For me there is nothing better than having a local show you around, it was pure joy to not have to worry about where to go, who to trust, how to get there…we could simply enjoy ourselves on our last day.