Jim and I were each blessed by a holy man on the street today. Mine was very small, robed in red and cheerfully beatific. He put marigolds in my hair and a red dot on my forehead. Marigolds here are hung in strings, float in large flat bowls and burned in the little temples that are scattered everywhere. They seem to be the sacred flower. We donated to the monastic cause and kept our karma intact.
We have spent a lot of time walking the streets of Kathmandu through areas of relative prosperity, unimaginable slums, and tourist regions and it is the same everywhere – I can’t figure out why more pedestrians aren’t laid flat and maimed. We saw two women clipped by the mirror of passing motorbikes whipping by and Jim has pulled me out of harm’s way more than once. But nobody gets riled about it; they just go about their business, constantly dodging while on the street.
I am enjoying the food. Yesterday it was chapatti hot off the pan dipped in a delicious green potato curry and noodle soup with roasted garlic and jalapenos. Tonight it was fresh small dumplings stuffed with some sort of meat and smothered in fiery reddish sauce served in a woven leaf bowl (recyclable material at is finest). It’s all intestine blistering street food costing between 40 and 80 rupees (equaling 40 and 80 cents). And so good!
It is late evening; I must pack and get to bed. Tomorrow we are leaving at 6:30 am for a rafting trip. When we return tomorrow night we will be moving to the $25.00 multi-windowed deluxe room on the roof with a double bed and a view.
Can’t sleep. My stomach is a little unhappy. It’s taking a bit of concentration to ease it. Nothing major but the dumplings were the first meat we have eaten since arriving in Nepal. I think that holding off on meat until we leave for the trek is a prudent choice.