Nepal Travel Stories, Page 19


hey andy,

don here in gig harbor washington state.

your electricity thingie.... this is soooo common in third world,

maybe 2nd but for sure third. they run electricity through conduits

with basically lampcord when they hook it up to the outlet, they

don't make any effort to connect the black wire to the hot side of

the plug and the white/neutral to the neutral/ground side of the

plug. so... you the hot and neutral reversed. computers or just

about any appliance will ground the frame to the neutral line, so

that if the hot lead goes up the wire right to the ground side of the

frig or radio or lap top.... wah...laa... fun times.

i ran into this all the time in Ecuador where i took 3 years out of my

work life, shut down my construction biz and worked in villages and

such to do 'community development' and such.

anyway... that is how i found your site.... just on a lark to see what

was new on the web for ecuador and found your story as to your

travel from coca down the napo as i spent quite some time on the

napo but never did coca area directly.

anyway... have enjoyed your rants and such as it makes me laugh

and remember all the times when i would just about have it up to

my ears with the ridiculousness of different and various situations.

i miss my time there and all the little crazy places and little crazy

people here and there as it was a wild crazy adventure. i am not

sure i would have survived many more years of same so for that i

am glad to be back here and doing what i enjoy doing and carrying

on the best i can.... but the adventure and the absolute

unpredictabilty of each and every day and moment... oh i really,

really loved that. my most prized and used spanish word was

simply ''' interesante'' unfortunately, it is much harder to get

by all the situations here back in the usa with facing life's situations

with simply saying 'interesting'... but life truly is simply


though life stateside by contrast is amazingly boring in comparison,

though more predictable.

anyway... i loved your honesty in relating your frustration in your

taxi drive into nepal... as i laughed til i cried. keep it up.

and take care.



I am trying to send a newsletter, but am having lots of problems with the internet. I finally changed Internet Cafes today because the one in the center at the Bakery just keeps stopping and breaking my connection. I hope to publish the newsletter today.

Met and went to dinner last night with a great guy from Nepal. He says when I come back next time we can go visit his family and see Rhinos and Tigers. His family lives to the Southwest of Kathmandu about 6 hours. He is the guy that is going to ship my new embroidered shirts to the USA probably with DHL shipping service.


I am sure lots of people think I think too much about work, but I am also thinking about Mount Everest. I really am not much on wanting to walk around with the majority of trekkers that want to walk around smoking a joint and looking at the colors. But I like a good challenge, and that it a different thing.

There are lots of people that climb to the base camp of Mount Everest. Let me go see what the Encyclopedia has to say, hmmm?

SAYS, (1)

Sanskrit (Nepali) Sagarmatha, Tibetan Chomolungma, Chinese (Wade-Giles) Chu-mu-lang-ma Feng, (Pinyin) Zhumulangma Feng, also spelled Qomolangma Feng

mountain on the crest of the Great Himalayas in Asia, lying on the border between Nepal and China (Tibet), at 27° 59´ N, 86° 56´ E. It is the highest point on Earth.

Go figure, it is the Highest point on the planet. No wonder it is a big deal, ooops. I suppose I am supposed to already know that, but I was not aware of that fact, but than again I probably did not care that much which Mountain is the highest. I probably would be interested in which ones are the most difficult. Climbing mountains sound fun, but also a very big commitment, and I am a beach boy and not an Eskimo boy and that just sound freezing. Note that the only person here that is complaining about the cold is I, and lots of people are walking around in T-shirt. I think they are crazy but to each their own.

Back to the plot, maybe scheme is better word…. Hehehe.

I am so much happier in Nepal than in India!

February 10, 2004 Kathmandu or maybe Katmandu, Nepal


I have connected now about 3 times inside and Internet Cafe, but on this occasion when I connected and plugged my computer into a walk socket every time my finger slipped from the mouse touch pad to the metal parts I would get a mild, but very annoying electrical shock.

I really could care less about the shock, but I do not like this type of current running through my computer.

I checked:

1. The cord was not in water. I took the cord and strung it across wood desk.

2. The desk was wood.

3. The desk had only a monitor on it, that was plugged in and all of plastic and such.

4. I had rubber Reeboks on and lots of clothes.

OF course as is normal the staff did not believe me and told me I was not being shocked. I had to physically put their hands on the computer to prove it to them, and they the still were sort of denying it was shocking me. Sort of the head in the sand ostrich problem. They wanted me to change plugs, and I said,

"This is the same electrical line."

They did not understand. They had a conduit running along the concrete wall and they wanted me to change to just the next one down the line.

I suppose someone will say,

"The Electrical wire was grounded."

I suppose I know that, but how? I do not understand even if there is a ground problem how it jumped from the cord to the case of the computer? I will sit in a different location tomorrow when I use the computer inside the Internet cafe.

I typed that information into the computer page that is my log of computer problems I have had. Note that I have had three times this amount of problems, but these are probably the biggies.

Why? I do this posting in the blog and the log for a reason to hopefully find a solution. I often have readers tell me the solutions and then I can post them for the world to “have the solution also” That to me is the essential value of the Internet. Interaction between the reader and the author and the ability for no great cost to update and improve an existing document.

In the hard copy word of newspapers, magazines, and books and such an update is either never done, or done every year or for the most part never. But on a webpage I can do them pretty quick… Maybe when I am not overwhelmed, but eventually.

If I was making more money I could have help in this type of crap or stuff, or things or just this monotonous adding to the pages. Actually this is not monotonous, it is the small fixing of grammar and the making-the-page pretty stuff that is monotonous.


Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi are definitely on my mind lately. I think how they simplified their lives and this is to me the essence of what the “Rage Against the Machine” people really want. They want a life where the machine does not rule their lives, but the stupid part is they choose to allow the machine to run their lives and it is not the machine that runs their lives.

I could see how in the more class orientated countries you could say the Rich control the poor like here in Nepal and especially in India, but not in the USA or the Eastern countries of Europe. The fact that a person can travel the world is proof that the machine is not ruling their lives. The countries that can travel are not ruled by the machine and the ones that have trouble traveling are ruled by the machine… maybe?

But the “Granola for Lunch Bunch” need to grow up and realize what they really do not like to do is work. I do not like to work either, but I also find that I get up daily at around 5:00 am to work till 8:00 or 9:00 am. I have a feeling if I really calculated or summed up all the time I worked on my computer and webpage, or walked around taking photos daily I am really working about 50 hours a week. But I do not emphasize this because it does not feel like work and I am definitely not controlled by the work, but I am scared of not having money.

I also do not talk about work because I be Hobo! Not in the mental thought process to say a Hobo be working. I hope the grammar checker picks up the “I be Hobo” phrase. I will check. Yes it did, it want to say, “I am Hobo.”

I am having 50 shirts embroidered with the word on the bottom “ was Here X.” But on the top I am trying to think of a slogan to place on the top. I thought for a while of putting, “All I ever wanted to do is go to Kathmandu.” The lyric from Bob Seger or maybe just make it “I’m Going to Kathmandu.”

I will leave Katmandu and the immediacy of the phrase or the selling value will decrease. I want to sell the shirts in this lifetime and not the next lifetime so I am probably going to put at the top.

“I be Hobo,”

Or maybe,


Or maybe,


So at the top would be one of them phrases and on the bottom is another phrase of the “ was here X.” The my little Hobo in the middle.


I am excited to see what happens today. I have been in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia when they was protesting or striking and it is fun to watch. Sort of a comedy of sorts for me because I am not sure why they are ever striking and the only ones that seem to get hurt are themselves. It does hurt the big businesses that need to keep their businesses running 24 hour a day, but the Mom and Pop types are OK. I suppose that is the point the poor are trying to hurt the rich, but they also hurt themselves. I do not know why they don’t just strike against the banks and the government office it would seem more effective and easier to do. I think this is always a good excuse to sit around and drink, plus it is a day off or vacation day.

Normally in South America when there is a strike all the business pull down their steel doors on the front of their businesses, and then you go an knock on the door and the allow you to enter. They are still open, but they are screening the persons that enter. It is normally the transportation that cannot move without people watching and everyone has to walk for the day.

Kathmandu appears to me a lot richer than the normal Peru, Bolivia, or Ecuador city. They have so many bicycles and motorbike here and in South America only Colombia, Brazil, and I guess Chile and Argentina have vehicles like this, but I cannot remember Argentina and Chile being that rich. They always appeared class-system rich or the rich had things and poor did not.


I have thought up a way that I can use my laptop on my lap in bed without breaking the cord. I am going to take 4 x 10 inch piece of flat Plexiglas and tape with duct tape across the bottom width of my computer. When I wish to place the laptop on my lap I will flip the Plexiglas back away from me. I think if it overhangs the back about 2 inches it will protect the computer cord very well.

Note: I had a big need for this so I used a CD Rom that had a plastic case for the flap and it is working perfect. I needed this because I want to lay in bed where it is warm and type and not freeze to death.

My room is about 54 degrees normally. I really only need to protect the USB and the Electrical Slot, not the whole length. I sit the computer on my lap with a lot of blankets or a pillow to prop it up. I really do not want this connection to break it takes a long time to get fixed and complicated to find a place that can repair it without spending hundreds of dollars. (Note for you anal people, everything is easy in life if you spend a lot of money, it becomes difficult to live simply but to have the same.)

I have been also carrying a flat piece of mirror on top of my computer for the last month. It has not broken yet, so this is good way to carry a mirror in your backpack.


Just like the rest of the world. The doors are close, but the stores are open. This strike most hurts the main street business. I am in an internet cafe with the doors half closed. SNAFU


I am trying to send another newsletter and there is always something new to cause me problem. Tomorrow they close all the businesses in Katmandu for a general strike. I do not think anyone know exactly what they are doing, but nonetheless it obvious that the Maoist have people scared. Sort of a Mafia type of operation, but I did learn that the Chinese do not like the Maoist...

But all is good, and really this is just a small trouble, and what is bad is the business owners will lose money.


The French are on the way to addressing or dealing with reason racism exist.

When one person wants to say they are different than another.

I think the world is afraid of religions and they are not being a comfort but are creating fear.

Why should a religion be different than a Motorcycle Club?

If you wore your motorcycle colors into class or your gang colors they will try to stop you.

Why they do a gang of religious people get to do this?

Read to understand my point:


I am in a great Guesthouse in Katmandu, and with anything in life there is good and bad. Moms Place had Solar Heat and the hotel was great, but solar heat is translated as you freeze to death or you do not take a shower.

We move to … X,

I will disclose after I leave as I may be here for 10 days or more and do not want anyone tracking me down, and this is sort of Mao Terrorist area and full connected to the Internet.

The Hotel owner was saying that his staff turns or flips the breaker switch every morning at 6:00 am to give the electric hot water heater time to heat the water.

7:50 am I take off all my clothes in a 54 degree Fahrenheit room and walk into the shower. I had forgot to plug in my immersion heater to heat the water with my heater so I was depending on this six o’clock thing to happen. Well… same ole same ole the staff is just not dependable in Hotel anywhere in the world.

So I went down and told the boy to turn on the water. I will flip the breaker myself tomorrow.


I usually drink Nescafe Instant Coffee because that is the standard coffee sold worldwide, but since the price has taken a leap here in Katmandu, Nepal I opted for the ground or filter coffee. This will make my friend Chris from Idaho happy.

But…. Wow lots more caffeine, but taste a lot better. I wish it was not so messy and I would do it all the time.

I use the two-glass method.

Boil water in on glass.

Put coffee in cup after boiling.


Put in a little cold water and it make the ground drop.

Pour into second cup through a strainer.

Maybe I go clean the first cup of grounds and strain a couple more times.

Surprising the coffee last just about as long as the instant at half the price, and double the mess.


I met a girl born in Indiana, but have live all over the USA, and called San Francisco her last home. She has lived in Katmandu and is going to marry a Nepal man that runs tours to Tibet.

After the Dot.Com failure a few years ago a lot of people after they failed to become rich, or they lost their riches decided to travel. I have met just tons of these people and to me there are a stereotype of disillusioned people that played with computers and themselves and now are looking for a job.

This girl was in software development in San Francisco, and then came to Nepal and has hung around for couple of years with her boy friend.

Like any normal washout from the land of Fruits and Nuts they want some payback, so the way they do that is go to the land of underprivileged where they are rich and no one looks at them as washout without a job.

This girl went to work for a few NGO or Non Governmental Agencies that are prolific in Nepal. The only one she mentioned by name is UNICEF. She did not speak highly and said that UNICEF here treats the workers quite badly. Not her, but there is a real segregated situation and she was disillusioned.

But what was funny is my question or trying to learn about the so-called poverty in Nepal. I was talking with the owner of the Hotel and he said that Nepal is the second poorest country in the world after Haiti. I travel and could care less if a country is rich or poor for the most part but just want to know how much it will cost to travel and live in the country. Jeff is pretty much the same.

I told him about the second poorest remark and he was also a little amazed. We have both traveled a lot and we just do not see it. This is a very nice so far. We traveled from the border of India to Kathmandu by daylight and I was constantly remarking to Jeff that we had really taken a step up on the level of living scale. The quality here is so much better so far than India.

But I have not been anywhere to speak of, and I will see what Jeff has to say after he returns. I just realized that I am in one of the larger cities and there should be a full on slum to go look at. I will try to find one to take photos. But as of right now this place seem about 2 steps above Bolivia or Peru.

But the whole world thinks you are poor if you do not have a car. I think this is one of them food rich areas, and money poor situations. They appear to have lots of food, but very little cash in pocket, sort of like Chiapas area in Mexico.


The broadband here is good...

Then it stops for 4 minutes.

Then it starts.

This makes a site time-out.

Just a note for the internet fanatics.

But it is very fast... Sort of, but not always, and not in all place, and at certain times of day, and maybe not on Tuesdays.