25 May 2007

Nepal is...

a must-go-to country, and the capital-Kathmandu-is like. . .well it's something unlike anything you've ever seen (or smelled).

The entire country is like 13th century Europe with lots of shops selling fake North Face jackets, handmade Gurkha knives, yak sweaters (avg cost-700 rupees), masks, little wooden Buddhas (he was born there), incense, lots of fake (genuine mountaineering equipment), dead animal parts, and much more. Kathmandu is a little like Bree or Hobbiton-everybody is 5-feet-tall, brown, and wears size 1 Levis. . .and sandals. It's amazing really. After 29+ hours and 3 planes, you rapidly come to the conclusion that 'you're not in Kansas anymore. You've come to the land of the little people.'

Food: Food is cheap. 75 cents will get you a plate of fried rice, fried fish, fried something else, some fried green things, and a Fanta. Fanta is common there, very common. So is opium and marijuana. Marijuana is a weed in Nepal that grows everywhere. There's a few nice plants at the airport parking lot if you're interested.

When trekking in the Himalaya (not Himalayas. . .there is no 's'), food is another story. Everything is carried with you, or rather, on the backs of porters.

What we ate in the mountains: yak jerky, eggs, tea, boiled lemonade, flat bread, and 37 combinations of yak jerky, eggs, bread. Oh, candy bars. Candy bars are also the currency in the high Himalaya. You can get anything you want with chocolate candy bars, as rupees and dollars are useless here.

Buddhist temples: they have them here. 99% of the country is Buddhist. I think Christianity is forbidden (not sure). The temples are cold, clammy, evil, empty, dry places. If you want to know what real evil spirits feel like-this is the place. I wouldn't go into one alone. There's more than lamas (priests) living in the temples. Strange things happen here. Very strange.

Mt. Everest: high, very high. Very hard to breathe here. Base camp consists of millions of rocks on a glacier. Everest itself is like a painting due to the clear air (what little air there is), lack of pollution, and you wonder how anybody could ever summit the thing and survive.

I think later today, I will post some pictures.

In running news: This afternoon I ran 6 miles very, very slowly. On sheer will power. I like to think Jason is simulating the last 10k of the marathon.


Teresa said...

When did you go to Nepal?
And 75 cents for fried rice and shrimp is great!!!

Jason said...

May and June of 1999. It seems like yesterday.