Nepal Travel Stories, Page 10

Hotel Inspection

Hotel Inspection
There are people that believe the only way to have nice room is to pay for 5 stars. I personally do not trust any hotel. One great way is to inspect the pillows and the mattress.

The hotel I am is owned by a foreigner from Europe. I discovered these pillows and cringed. I suppose a good walk around the kitchen and looking under the sheets and pillowcases would make most 5 Star Travelers run for home.
Hotel Inspection

Construction of Home in Nepal

Construction of Home in Nepal
There is a very large home being built near the Hotel, it is for a banker here in Katmandu. They poured concrete on the third floor of the building the other day.

The Nepal workers constructed a bamboo scaffolds with standing positions on each leave. The bamboo was tied together this rope.

There are various ingredients in concrete; this boy is carrying from a pile of sand to the hopper.

This girl is using a rope to help pull up the heavy shovel. This group is carrying the larger rocks to the concrete mixer.

This woman is adding water, and someone is adding cement. The concrete mixer is somewhat of a luxury in the world, as normal small jobs would use shovels to mix.

After the concrete is mixed, it is transferred to a hopper and loaded into large steel pans that look like an Asia cooking pan. The throw groups of these pans down to the right of this photo into a big pile of sand.

A deltoid crushing job and these boys are quickly handing one pan up after another. They are wearing plastic to protect themselves from concrete burns; I believe the calcium in the concrete burns.
Construction of Home in Nepal

Backpack Happy

Backpack Happy
I am very excited; I went from being very frustrated about how to explain my backpack to thinking I can make any type of backpack and system.
Talking is easy, making something happen is difficult, a person traveling has to accept continually less than what they want and hopefully not less than what they expect. The world is a dream, and then we see what is real. Very seldom does a dream compare well with reality.
The formula for making a backpack is evolving for me, it is hard to modify or add all the great ideas as fast as discovered. Katmandu is one huge backpack store; it is possible to see almost any type of backpack system here.
Fabrics, materials, clips, parts for backpack is the every present problem. The person making the packs do not wish to leave the factory, thus they do not see what new fabrics and parts are being sold.
Backpack Happy

India Bombing

India Bombing
I receive multiple emails advising me to take care, as there was a bomb in Bombay, or Mumbai killing over 175 people.
- attacks targeted a first-class commuter car -
I feel the Islamic attacks often are just an attack by the poor against the rich. The Marxist theory is about this more or less.
I remember in Niamey, Niger when a person from the WFP World Food Program of the United Nations whom I was talking with went and sat in the first class section of the airplane. I was very angry.
There is no solution, the poor want to be rich.
However I am not sure who's God bombed the train.
India Bombing

Fighting Nepal Culture

Fighting Nepal Culture
Swapping out, that is my term for what happens in developing countries.
Mammoth or Marmot
My friend Bhesh, said,
- Mammot -

I thought he was saying Marmot, the rather Switzerland word for woodchuck, or groundhog. He says the backpack Mammoth is made in Switzerland and I have memories while near Melchsee Fruut, Switzerland where this girl was in love with woodchucks.
Mammoth or Woodchuck, that for sure is swapping out, or in Thailand they would say,
- Same Same -
And I would say,
- But different -

I am in Nepal, Mount Everest is here, considered the highest mountain on the planet. Thus there is an emphasis on backpacks for mountain climbing. The majority of Nepal people never leave the valley.
His philosophy is a man should never leave his time zone.
“Time zone?”
‘Yes, you know. He lives in the Eastern Time zone. He won’t leave it and in fact confines himself to twenty degrees latitude within the zone. He’ll cross zip codes but tries to stay within his telephone area code.

From the books - The Charm School - by Nelson De Mille -
Every person has a Polaroid snapshot of their version of the world. They carry this photograph around with them as they travel or live. Every new experience is somehow drawn onto the small snapshot of their world.
Travelers normally expand the snapshot a small amount. I am in the India, Nepal Snapshot of travel. I left the Southeast Asia snapshot I was in, was very close to the Bali, Australia a month or so ago. I traveled for 5 years in the South American snapshot.
Nepal is a small snapshot of the world, I am literally up on top of the world, it is an island where people come to visit.
Mammoth or Marmot backpacks are about 12,000 miles from my backpack design or in other worlds it is on the other side of the planet. I am making a backpack for travel and the Mammoth real or copy I am not sure is made for walking, maybe climbing.
Bhesh says,
- Switzerland make a good backpack, because they have good materials. -

I say,
- It  has nothing to do with materials, they have the will. -

Third World, Under-developed, Developing, Poor, whatever you want to label a country that has less maybe while others have more. Mostly this is just hogwash, I do not see Switzerland or the USA as having more than Nepal, different for sure, however this is a land of opportunity.
I suppose the percentage of persons with the will or the thought,
- I can conquer the world -  are less.

Well, what happens is this, I am telling them they can make a world class, first tier, top of the line, best quality on the planet TRAVEL backpack and they keep swapping out parts. I turn my back for one second and the top quality is replace by a second or third quality part.
Today I will go to the sources, I will go to the suppliers of backpack clips, snaps, and clothes. I need to change my tack, I will sail towards the suppliers and find the mother loads.
My design for a backpack weights less than one kilo or about 2 pounds, I may end up carrying around all the parts until I have all the world best in one location, then assemble.
Then ASIA can copy anything, make the first no, but copy yes.
In Nepal Mammoth or Marmot are the same.
I believe anyone can change their stars.
Fighting Nepal Culture

Inadequate Nepal Photos

Inadequate Nepal Photos
I took an early morning stroll around Katmandu, Nepal as I waited for the world to wake. I stood in the street bombarded by many combinations of objects to view. I thought, it is impossible to explain, it must be experienced, the smells, the sights, the many views. I know, and accept that photos of any country and Nepal are inadequate to explain.

This shop with the food, the clutter, the doors to small and the building tilts, I think because of a prior Earthquake.

There is a man, intent, preoccupied, he is shucking corn.

Behind the small opening is a lady a girl, sitting moving, and pops her head up and catches me taking a photo.

270 Rupees per month to join this gym, I can work out starting at 6:00 am in the morning. It smells like a gym. Two boys said they was trying to join the English military, it is possible they can become British citizens if they are in the service. 270 Rupees is about 4 U.S. Dollars.

Black man and black oil, there is a caste system in Nepal and in India, however more in India. This man is black; however, he may also be very grimy with black tar oil also. He has an early start on the grime; it is only about 7:00 in the morning.
He fills up is container with old from a 55-gallon barrel, then sprinkles it on the road mixing with the gravel. A larger compacter is coming to pack the gravel and make a tarvy type road. This is one of the main roads of Thamel.

The super sharp barbwire sitting ready to go near one of the Kathandu, Nepal police stations. In many countries like Nepal, Bolivia etc, there are these barbwire barriers ready to go for the next time.
Inadequate Nepal Photos

Nepal Import Export with Royal Nepal Airlines

 Nepal Import Export
I was checking into the Royal Nepal Airlines when this man came up, his English was broken, however he wished to hand me a small bag. He wanted me to carry or check the bag for him, he said,
- Help me please, only 10 Kilos -


This man has many bags full of items he has purchased in Thailand; he is importing the items to Nepal in an ad hoc sort of way. I guess it is about 10 dollars U.S. per kilo of extra weight. Therefore, 10 kilos would cost a lot. To ship weight it is from 7-15 for air shipping and around 3 if you are lucky for slow boat.
However, you save many customs problems if you carry on the plane like a courier. I kept and continued to say,
- No -
Then he would sort of beg.
I was laughing and saying,
- Nepal is one of the most corrupt places on the planet -
I should have explained, they will hang me if I am caught carrying a bag for you to Nepal. Thailand and Nepal immigration, what a nightmare, I would not want to be caught up in either of these countries legal systems or lack of legal systems.
The man proceeded to hand many packages to different people, then when he got on the plane they was handing them around and back to him.
He has a very tight plastic wrap on many of the packages, it appears to be the lightest, cheapest, and maybe most secure way to ship. They customs officers know if they open, they will not be able to close.
Nepal Import Export


Andy of
Daily Diary or Travel Journal

Thailand Sticky Rice

Thailand Sticky Rice
I do not think of Sticky Rice when I think of Thailand; however, I found some in the early hours walking around in Bangkok. I do think Sticky Rice when I think of Laos.

There was this man, whacking these bamboo sticks against a rock he held in his hand. They would crack, and then he would hand to the buyers of his sticky rice. He was making a racket, hard to not notice.

The joint in the bamboo is the stopper for one side, there is a banana leave rolled up to hold the rice down into the bamboo tube. I believe there is some coconut mixed with the rice. Some type of seed, but I cannot remember is inside the rice.
The person cooked this inside the bamboo tube as it is burned on the outside, I do not know if the rice was boiled or not boiled prior to pushing into the tube of bamboo.
Thailand Sticky Rice