Hash, Mareewana?

Christopher > China & Nepal photo

Last year at this time, I was in Kathmandu & posted this in my journal:

“I am in a colorful bicycle taxi moving smartly down Freak Street in Kathmandu heading for the famed Snowman Cafe (always in search of great coffee) when I hear a voice right behind my left ear, “Hash, Mareewana?”  I quickly look behind me and see a wizened newari head between the back flaps of the bicycle cabin.  It appears we’ve picked up “traveling salesman.”  I brush him off and we continue through the congested (and exceptionally loud) streets of Thamel toward our destination.  I would normally have preferred to walk but I’d spent 2 hours hopelessly wandering the streets of Kathmandu looking for this place.  I came prepared (maps / guidebook / gps) but it still wasn’t enough.  There were either no street signs or they are in Nepalese…either way, I found myself (enjoyably) among street after street with wonderful Stupas, celebraing Newari’s, begging sadhus & delicious-looking street food.  I’ve probably never seen streets as congested, loud, (unfortunately) dirty, alive & crazy as here in Kathmandu.  Part of the excitement could be because it is Newari new year — I would never have known except that I stumbled into a square this morning and saw 200-300 people + lots of military folks listening to a well-dressed Nepalese man giving a speech.  Turns out, he’s their Prime Minister.  Perhaps most surprising is that there were probably another 3,000 people in the square absolutely not interested in the PM or the speech!

Oh, and I never did get my coffee.  By the time I arrived, the place was overflowing with Germans.”

I miss Nepal.

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