6th April 1993, Kathmandu – I took Rich on a walking tour of the city, Durbar Square, etc. and we stumbled across the US embassy library, so we popped in there for a couple of hours to catch up on current events at home. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by one of the shirt embroidery shops and placed an order for the shirt we were having made, which would commemorate our trip as a whole. The front had 22 flags embroided on it, one for each country we were visiting and the back had a map of the world on it. Order those for the exorbitant amount of 750 rupees, $15, then cruised around Thamel that evening, book shopping.
7th April 193, Kathmandu to Bhaktapur – Thought we would head out to Bhaktapur today to have a look but before our departure, we ordered these red woolen pullovers with cotton lining for 550 rupees each.
Jumped on the Nepalese version of a matatu out to Bhaktapur, but we got off way too early in the middle of nowhere and ended up walking quite a bit. It was an interesting walk, though. Instead of weeds growing on the side of the road, it was marijuana plants, tons of them. We walked a bit longer but tired of that quickly and haled down the first minivan going towards our destination. Finally arrived in Bhaktapur and wandered around yet another Square named Durbar. Looked at the temples, which all looked the same, then sat in the square where Rich checked out the art museum.
While sitting out there, I met a Nepalese boy who must have been about nine who sat there and we spoke Nepalese to each other. Rather he spoke Nepalese to me and I tried to speak Nepalese back to him using my limited vocabulary. We wandered around the city, which I much preferred to Kathmandu because it is 85% pedestrian streets, so you get that feeling that this is what the city really is like. Wandered to another square where the largest temple in Kathmandu valley stands. The square was teeming with small children playing and I took many photographs of them.
After a couple of hours of walking, we headed back to Kathmandu to see if our flag shirts were ready. The man making the shirt held up the one that was finished and both Rich and I were blown away at how awesome it looked. This man knew what he was doing and it was worth every cent. We rested, then went out drinking for happy hour on one of the various rooftop bars.
We had many-many San Miguels and ended up talking to a bunch of Californians. Two were this couple from Los Angeles, total southern California people who both work for the various TV production companies. The third was a girl named Christine Smith, who had been living in the Berkeley Hills, but her house burned down in the great Oakland fire, so she was using her federal money to travel. She said the money was supposed to be used to replace her belongings and she figured since a lot of her stuff came from other countries, she was justified in using the money to travel and replace her possessions per the government’s request. Went out for a late dinner and stumbled back to the room shortly after that.