Nepal Travel Stories, Page 8

Nepal Electricity Outages

Nepal Electricity Outages
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
Friday, January 12, 2007

It is 6:23 in the morning, the electricity has been off since I woke around 5:00, and it may have been off for hours.

I cannot use my one-cup cooker to make coffee, and I do not have an alcohol in my bag to use as fuel for an alcohol fire.

I am on my batteries of the computer and cell phone, the computer is only good for about one hour, then out goes the lights.

I have light in a way, I can use my hand-powered flashlight, and I should remember to look into 12 volt cooking. Hmm, I have 14 AA rechargeable batteries presently; I am going to buy at least another eight so I would have a bank of about 20 in stock.

That is a lot of small electricity power; big batteries are not possible, too heavy and awkward. However, my 20 batteries could help to power up some smaller things.

AA batteries seem to power 90 percent of my electronics. I now only buy electronics equipment ran by AA batteries. Therefore my system of charging is complete, my alarm clock, GPS, Sony Camera run on AA Batteries.

IF I could have an AA powered reading light, I suppose I could live in the jungle for a few days and still live as normal. The computer is the problem; I think the new computers have 8-hour batteries, with four of them I could go for about five days in the jungle.

I will have to study this, I am going to Africa I hope soon, and I want to be prepared. Africa has good electricity, yet there is a temptation to go farther into the bush there, than here, I like the idea of big animals more. I guess, Nepal does have Rhinos.

Nepal Electricity Outages

What My Father Do

What My Father Do
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
January 11, 2007

I ask my friend Brakash,
- Why do you put incense out in front of your store? -

He said,

What my father do,
I do like that.

What I do,
my son also do like that.

Actually, I do not know why lighting.

I think,
Just for the smiling

Brakash January 11, 2007 Kathmandu Nepal

And.. Life is Good
I am also my fathers son.

What My Father Do

Katmandu Nepal GPRS

Katmandu Nepal GPRS
Kathmandu Nepal Asia
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

22.65 US Dollars Per Month

I took a taxi for 152 Rupees from Thamel to the BICC or as they say, the big Conference center in Bashawor. The Mero Cell Phone company is here and a man by the name of Raj  has configured my computer for internet connection over my cell phone.

75 Rupees is One US Dollar
500 for Prepaid SIM Card
10 Kilobytes cost 20 Paisa
100 Paisa is one Rupee

When I use 75,000 Kilobytes, above this and the service is free.

More or less this means with VAT or Tax, I pay 1695 Rupees per calender month and I have unlimited GPRS connection.

1695 Rupees is 22.65 US Dollars per month.

The great aspect of this is no contract, no setup, and I only pay for what I use, if I keep the card, and it does not expire, I will be able to have access again with no problem when I return. I would say this is acceptable in the mobile office requirements of mine

The bluetooth connects my computer and phone.

Mero Mobile - Spice Nepal
New Baneshwor,Buddhanagar
Ktm Nepal

Katmandu Nepal GPRS


Backpack Components Inspection

Backpack Components Inspection
Katmandu Nepal Asia
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I am drawing the various component parts of my backpack design daily. After completion, I than go to the internet café, publish to paper, and then go to the factory to show the master cutter.. I am not sure they understand them, the words are in English and not Nepali, yet there is idea that they now have been told. What the real success is I have slowed them down enough to focus on one component and not trying to think of the whole.

I go to the factory now at 11:00 AM, and then return between 3:00 and 5:00 pm to check. Today it will be at 3:00 because they turn off the electricity in this part of Katmandu from 4:00 to 7:30 pm.

I am trying to learn how to deal with overseas companies who speak a different language. It for sure would be easier if I would make the sample in the USA, and then bring here. Everything about manufacturing backpack has to do with the availability of fabrics, clips, and parts needed to make the bags.

This one component discussion and not the complete bag is windfall advancement in methodology. I am in a constant dilemma on how to control the quality and design.

Daily making and inspection of only one component solves the language problem. When they proceed fast, the number of misunderstanding is tripled.

I guess to plan, I need to think, one component, one day, therefore I need to count the number of parts, and add a few days for backup.

Backpack Components Inspection

Step in and Step up

Step in and Step up
Katmandu Nepal Asia
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I was having a conversation about a man about the Malnutrition problem in the world. The comment and I now know it is the prevalent comment,
- They are doing studies on this already. -

Who? Where? This is crap, a burden shifting, and not true belief.

I am watching this Oprah Winfrey thing on CNN while typing, and Oprah has said, people need to - Step in - or - Step up -, there is a ridiculous idea that somehow there is something out there that is solving all these problems on the planet.

I believe she is right, everyone needs to step in, or stop up; I do not believe there is a money problem. The problem is everyone needs to get involved and make something real happen.

Giving money is almost an excuse to not do something. Writing a letter to your congressional representative or the leaders of Nepal, or Niger, or anywhere and saying.

Why are you not giving your people a retirement plan?
Why are you not helping your retarded and helpless?
Why do you not tell your people to eat vegetable and fruits?

What is wrong with you?

Complaining is action, but not to your group of save the world hippie dippies, dread heads all smoking joint and drinking a beer. But to the real decision makers who are doing something.

I remember my friend Jim, I saw him walking across the street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He stopped, picked up a fast food drink cup, took it into his business and put in the proper trash bin. He did something; he stepped in and stepped up.

I on the other hand would almost encourage person in places like Thailand or Nepal where there is no way to dispose of trash to through in the face of the government. Say, provide a way to allow me to keep your city clean, help me, and I will help you. There is always a partnership between the ying and the yang.

Step in and Step up

Making a Backpack

Making a Backpack
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I am making a backpack here in Katmandu, Nepal; there are many problems and many solutions. My goal is to have a solution to all the problems encountered when carrying a backpack for travel. I hope in my travels I have encountered the majority of problems, thereby being a person capable of incorporating into the design a solution to 90 percent of the problems.

I say 90 percent of the problems, because there is a 10 percent gap where one solution conflicts with another solution. For example, there is a constant desire to keep this small enough to be a carry-on bag, yet big enough to carry as many possessions as a person wants.

So do I make big and the person needs to check in the bag all the time or do I make small enough to be a check in bag. A bag that is carried on is safer than a bag that is checked, as it does not leave the possession of the person. However, when a person visit’s a country and does the normal tourist behavior of buying, probably the number activity of tourist, then where do they put these new souvenirs and wants.

How do I manage when a zipper breaks?
How do I manage if someone cuts the bag?
How do I manage if one of the harness straps breaks?
How do I manage if one of the clips breaks or is lost?

The list of problems with a bag is in many ways endless, therefore in my desire to make the perfect bag, I have made a list of all the possible problems with a bag. I continually add to this list.

I then try to design into the bag a solution.

I have a desire to sell this bag; I often think the name of the bag should be…

I have a continuous fight with the two men who are the owners of the factory. It is hard to say this is a factory; it is group of about 20 sewing machines inside an apartment building piled high with bags and pieces of materials.

The fight is because, they make bags to sell, what makes a good bag to sell, they do not make a good bag for me. They know what sells and the bag I am designing probably would not sell in the stores in Katmandu, Nepal. The nature of Katmandu is about maybe trekking and price, they often sell only price, then they sell straps. The more clips and adjustments the better, the more widgets, the more gadgets, the more pockets the better.

How do I make a bag easy and quick to open and close, yet difficult for robber to open and close, this is in may ways the goal. I am putting an extreme amount of features that often a person could think is not needed.

Maybe call this the…
- Mosquito Net Option -

People can say, I do not need a Mosquito Net.
However, on the one night when they need a Mosquito Net, they will spend the whole night kicking themselves saying.
- Why did I not buy a Mosquito Net?… -
- Why did I not buy a Mosquito Net?… -
- Why did I not buy a Mosquito Net?… -

I now always carry a Mosquito Net, the one time I did not carry a Mosquito net while in Europe, I was thinking to Europe was very modern. I lived one week in Brugge, Belgium in total misery as I was bitten every night in a room for one week. I discovered, hmm, Europe is not as modern as the United States. There were no screens on the windows.

I know a good traveler will choose a room, a situation where many of these options are never needed, this is the goal. However, when a person makes a mistake, as I am 100 percent, sure they will, I want them to have a solution.

Teaching the solutions in this bag is the next obstacle, how do I teach a person how to use the bag. I think I must include a DVD Video explaining all the options. Then when the person leaves it at home, destroys it, or just never looks at the DVC, they still have the option of going to the internet and viewing the video.

There are so many possible scenarios to design this bag, this is why I am on number 10 or 11, they are starting to blend together, and the last time I was in Nepal, we made three prototypes. Every time we make a bag, there are more solutions that are incorporated into the bag.

I am going through a very time consuming procedure this time, we are only making one specific component per day. We will assemble the 8 major parts now at the end, each day is one component. Therefore, to make one bag will take about 10 days, including the weekend and days off etc., the prototype requires I take 10 days to supervise and wait for one piece to be made.

Each component part becomes a prototype or an example, each stands alone, and I can change or redesign up to day of final assembly. This is not how they make bags in Nepal, it is not this strict, yet in many ways, they have never made an original, and they only copy.

Making a Backpack

Being Clean When Cold

Being Clean When Cold
Katmandu Nepal Asia
Monday, January 8, 2007

I am not sure this is the life…

I am lying here in bed, all my clothes are on, it is cold and there is no electricity. The city of Katmandu has turned off the lights in this section of the city on Mondays for some reason, everyone says it will come back on at 7:30.

It takes a lot of work to stay comfortable at this time of year in Nepal, the weather is one small notch too cold. It is not cold enough where so that everyone installs furnaces and heats their home, it I just cool enough that for sure you wish you did. Many person can be seen sitting on the roofs of their brick homes during the day, staying warm and soaking in the sun.

I have been debating in my mind about the hands of the street vender selling me popcorn. Their hands are dirty, maybe it is the color of their skin, but 50/50 on this, some have very dirty hands and fingers.

I was watching the movie, - The Aviator - about Howard Hughes. Howard in the movie had this phobia or problem with dirt. I remember his face as he was squeamish to touch the handle of the door. I felt the exact same way as I was watching a man cup popcorn with his hands into the cup to measure my portion. I got this low, deep in the stomach, my arms felt heavy, why do his fingers looks so dirty feeling.

We are just upstream from India, where I feel live some of the dirtiest people on the planet, so there is a cultural influence. However, Nepal is cleaner than India.

I am thinking the cold makes them resist cleaning, it like being in Tibet or China and seeing their hands, but a lot less severe.

So whether their hands are always dirty, or they are just temporarily more dirty because the water is too cold to shower easy is my question.

Being Clean When Cold

Hotel Rooms go up when cold

Hotel Rooms go up when cold
Kathmandu Nepal Asia
Monday, January 8, 2007

The cost of the room is 500 Nepal Rupees or 8 US Dollars.

I think it is relatively safe to say as a guide to choosing a hotel.

When it is hot, choose the ground floor rooms in the shade.
When it is cold, choose the higher room in the sun.

This is my room in the sun, in the morning and during the day, the sun shines into my room creating a greenhouse affect that continually keeps my room above the cave temperature. The world has a prevalence of concrete or brick rooms, this brink or concrete retains heat or cold, and can be either a benefit or hindrance.

It is cold presently here in Kathmandu, Nepal, during the day, it gets quite warm, however, the concrete almost never warms. I have this room on the third floor and keeps me warmer.

The room is large, had a TV with HBO, Star Movies and CNN, and many India type stations. Includes private bath, hot water and a great view from the top of the world.

Hotel Rooms go up when cold

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