Tuesdays September 28, 2004 4:39 AM
I am in Katmandu or Kathmandu and they spell the name both ways, so I use both whenever I wish. The place is great after a mess of big cities like Bangkok, Manila, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh, etc. Katmandu has a small city feel in the Thamel area of Kathmandu although it must really be big. I found the information it had 1,093,414 in 2001, which does not mean it does not have up to 1 million more in un-reported people, these statistics have to be estimates. I would say it almost impossible to county people in a country where people do not pay taxes regularly.
My head feels like a sinus headache, but this is normal when you go from sea level to 1220 meters in one day. (4000 feet) I truly believe the body does not adjust as quickly as people believe, it takes weeks if not months for a person body to adjust to all changes in the air, oxygen, pressure, humidity, and temperature in a different location. I even believe that some people are not capable genetically in living other locations on the planet comfortably.
Good question, as the airplanes, tours, and information is all sketchy as every time you ask someone they tell you a different answer.
I do believe for sure:
1. Airlines are having trouble.
2. Lots of airlines have people and tours are canceling.
3. Katmandu is full of tourist so it is not as dangerous as could be thought. Tourists are wimps and would all leave in the presence of real danger.
My wish to go to the Everest Base Camp is not working out good as I was hoping to fly half the way or all the way, as I do not have time for the ascent presently. I am thinking this would take a minimum of 40 days to do in a healthy and proper way. I have ten days before my next flight.
Monday September 27, 2004 8:19 AM Dhaka Time
I am going west on the planet so I am going to have to set my time back I believe. Dhaka appears to be one hour different from Bangkok, the time in Bangkok is presently 9:19 and Dhaka is 8:19.
The flight from Bangkok to Dhaka was fun and interesting as there is an extreme culture change from Thailand to Bangladesh. I guess we went from a Buddhist culture to a more ex-English colony Islamic culture, a few prayer rugs around in strategic locations, but for the most part everything so far is western.
The only problem I had on the plane was the smell, the plane was full of either Bangladesh or India people going to mostly Calcutta and some of them stunk. Sadly, my first memory was of India, countries do have distinct smells, so body odor, but it could have also been the American girl behind me that was very nice but not one, but two screws lost.
At least 85 percent of the planet if full of women that marry for financial security or money, the American girl has a Tibet Boy friend, and is going to Delhi, the to Dhasalama to do something with the Dalai Lama. Vegetarian and wears four types of colored clothes and had acne that would make her need to go to Tibet to find a man. She actually found him in India, so anyway she is going she is performing contrary to the planet, but normal for many American Girl travelers.
She asked me if they were going to serve free drinks or liquor on the plane. She was however very nice, from Arizona and totally a typical India traveler, searching for God, wearing funny clothes. (Orange or Ocher always being one of the colors because it matches the Sadhus)
Another glass eyed, big browed, flat forehead man, with too much space between his eyebrows popped up at the end of the flight and started asking question. He was also from America.
I was getting embarrassed to be talking with these two, ways out to lunch and forgot to eat for weeks.
He started to ask questions about the world, neither one knew about the two Americans getting be-headed in Iraq, neither one knew about the Kerry-Bush elections.
The boy had just spent 6 months in Burma in Monastery of some religious ashram or something. I really did not like this guy, so I did not ask him to repeat. He started saying that a Dutch guy had told him about a really world changing film by Michael Moore, called something, the American had purchase this conspiracy theory crap hook like and stupid as he could be American and hate yourself and anyone powerful could.
He then starts to tell me how Bush was stupid.
“He did not become leader of the free world by being stupid.”
The girl redeemed herself a little by thinking and saying that is true, but the boy was amazed at my comment, and it is incredible that anyone could say that Bush is stupid. I could stand to listen to them disagree, but this kid did not like because he talked Texan, if that is not a racial way of looking at thing than nothing is, too not like someone because of their accent!
I had to stop listening and separated from these two permanently!
Met a Japan girl and life became very good as we talk until we got the hotel and share dinner together. She was from Osaka and told me to come and visit. I am hoping to go to Japan in the next year so good timing. She even asks me what I thought about all the people with Tattoos, piercing, etc on Khao San Road and she was actually happy when I said they were crazy.
Two Canadian girls that did not like me because they seen my American flag on my bag. So the flag worked perfect and repelled them although they have been with me the whole way from Khao San Road to the hotel in Dhaka Bangladesh, but because of their ignorance and anger I am lucky and do not have to listen to them. Sometime you can work a persons prejudice against them so you can avoid them, they do not like the USA so I am able to annoy them and keep them away by acting very USA and this endeared myself with the Japanese girl. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.
They took away my passport, and plane ticket. Took us to what would be a four star hotel in Iraq, and a one-star hotel in the USA and we spent the night. It has hot water and air conditioning and is nice in a dilapidated way. Nevertheless, I have a huge room and has every amenity that sort of works. The TV is only on some Arab like station with Islamic stuff.
They act like Indians and keep trying to enter my room, I have allowed this twice, but am learning because now I have to usher them out. I am not sure; I think they are extremely curious. They ask,
“Where are you from?”
The smile big like I have a ticket for them in my back pocket to the USA, and then ask more questions. The Bangladesh people appear to speak good English, as they were a former British colony. The Brits really helped the world develop with their colonization, while the French took and took, the English also gave countries infrastructure like Railways and Roads, plus English language skills.
FLYING OVER RANGOON BURMA
I wanted to note that while landing or flying over Rangoon or Yagon Myanmar / Burma I could see very large rice paddies for mile and miles. This made me very happy because I have this impression of repression by the government and poverty and other ideas, although most travelers really love Burma if they can stop paying attention to the propaganda from the Lonely Planet.
I was food happy.
A country that has food is happy.
A country that had water is happy.
Rangoon is a the end of a delta of some really huge river, and the whole lower part of Burma around Rangoon from the topo maps and everything I have just learned tells me it is a great place to grow rice, so the people may not have money, but they will have food. Really, this is all you need in life; houses can always be made out of dirt or clay.
That is the name of the river, I found it in the encyclopedia and water really is the giver of life or the fountain of life in many ways.
NO-MANS LANDS AT THE BANGKOK AIRPORT
Sunday 3:54 PM September 25, 2004
I am waiting for the Bangladesh Airlines plane to leave for either Yagoon or Dhaka. It appears that it will make a stop or not make a stop on the way to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is turning out to the longest way there possible to Nepal.
I found it, Yagon is the formal or name they use for Rangoon, Myanmar or Burma, so for sure we will stop there to drop off people. This is definitely one of them hurry up and wait flights. All this so I could stick my nose in Bangladesh for the night.
The ask me at the check-in if I wanted to check in my bag all the way to Katmandu, I opted for picking up the bag in Dhaka, Bangladesh, then I will need to check it in again the next day. I find that airlines do very good at transferring a bag fast, but they are terrible at holding bags. For me the longer the layover in an airport the more likely they are to misplace the bag. I have no statistics or proof of this.
I am hungry; they want three dollars US for a ham and cheese bread sandwich heavy on the bread and low on the ham and cheese. If I wait I will try to talk the flight attendant out of food, they normally always give you something to eat on a plane. No movie, and a little food, a bus is more entertaining by a long shot unless you call them trying to get you to buy the extremely overprices duty-free stuff from a cart as entertainment, it is a little entertaining to me to see who is silly.
Everyone getting on the plane looks like a person from India. Funny I almost never have seen a turban in India but the people outside revel in wearing one of these same as a tie unnecessary clothes fashion. I suppose it is possible a person from India would wear one of these to cover up smelly hair.