Life can be demanding and tough in Nepal for many. Regardless of age it amazed me how hard many people worked.
Given the limited availability of more complex and expensive materials handling equipment, back breaking work literally is back breaking work.
Seeing closed doors in Kathmandu during the day is abnormal. Businesses normally run from before the sun is up and long after it goes down.
After the 2015 earthquakes the number of customers dropped off dramatically with the reduction of tourists.
Slowly but surely this is changing for the better. People are coming back and bringing much needed stimulus into the market.
The beauty of so many places remains untouched and there is so much to take in.
The scare mongering of the media soon after the earthquakes turned so many people off coming to this amazing place.
Nepal is open for business and you will not regret coming!
When in town you need to try the local delicacies. One of which is the momo, a steamed or fried dumpling which is also a little like a dim sim, just completely different.
Best washed down with a local beer, of which there are enough to keep you in choices for the best part of half the week.
If beer is not your thing, there is Jaand, also known as Tongba which is actually the name of the vessel.
Jaand is similar to sake in taste. Made from fermented millet, the way this is drunk is by drawing the warm liquid up through a straw with tiny holes in it.
These stop the millet from coming up through the straw. As the liquid level drops you top the Tongba up with more hot water.
The many tastes, sights and sounds of Kathmandu were fascinating and some were confronting.
As a note of courtesy; if you have a weak constitution or a strong dislike to the reality of the meat industry I suggest you skip this post.
This post contains images of Nepali butcher shops that some may find disturbing.
You have been warned!
As we came around one particular corner a smell hung in the air. There was a buzzing of flies and something seemed a little off.
We had just walked into Butcher Street. In Kathmandu there seemed to be a phenomenon of businesses clumping together.
All the button shops were in one stretch. Six on either side of the road. All selling the same buttons, probably at the same price.
All the Dentists were on the same street. Windows were full of orthodontic equipment that looked fit for a museum, old sets of false teeth; or maybe they were new? And the strangest thing I’ve seen outside of a horror movie; large jars full of teeth.
If you didn’t have a fear of Dentists before this, you were certain to be in need of therapy after it.
Hence the concentration of butchers in this area. Shops full of carcasses that were un-refrigerated, parts that we would not normally see were on display to prove the freshness of the kill.
Another element of Nepali life that fascinated me was the power network. It seemed that every new appliance came with fifty meters of power cable to connect it directly into the grid.
The country’s demand for electricity far outstrips is capacity to supply. Load-shedding is a daily fact of life. There are times where there is no, or very limited power, for up to eight hours each day.
Somehow there are still shops with power that is enough to keep the heavily used mobile devices of Gen Y on charge.
While on the topic of electricity, I encountered a situation at one hotel that did little to fill me with confidence.
We requested a pedestal fan as our room had no fan. What we were given was a fan with no plug; just two bare wires.
Now I’m not an Electrician… but?
When I asked about how this works at reception I was looked at like I had asked the most ludicrous question.
“Just put the wires into the wall.” I was told. This was not something I felt confident with. I had visions of the hotel burning down in the night from my dodgy electrical work.