The Diary Drama
As you may remember from my first post about arriving in Nepal I mentioned how I had put my diary and dive logbook in the front pocket of the bulk head seat… Well my 2nd morning I woke up and as I had no plans till the afternoon figured a cup of coffee in a nice spot and writing in my diary would a perfect way to start my day.
I went to my bag and it wasn’t there, thinking I had placed it somewhere else I looked in the other one, noticing that my dive logbook was also missing I frantically pulled everything apart racking my brain as to the last time I had seen either… it slowly dawned on my that it had been in the airplane… Oh Crap!!!!
I ran downstairs and told Yogi, the hotel owner and he recommended grabbing a taxi to the airport and asking at the office. But he shook his head when I said I had flown in on Biman Airlines, “Mmmmm terrible airline I think they will throw it out as it has no value”. Well they have value to me so I jumped in the taxi and headed out. When I got to the office at 8.30am I discovered that the Biman office is only open in the afternoon and only on certain days, of course no one could tell me when in the afternoon or on what days. But a guy from Nepal air looked into his book and gave me a number wishing me good luck while shaking his head.
I was pretty close to distraught when I got back and didn’t even feel like eating breakfast, only a cup of coffee in the hotel reception. Finally I said “screw it” and did some retail therapy, picking up a skirt and shirt for about $15 total. I also picked up a new diary with handmade paper so I could at least keep up with my diary until I found the other one, hopefully! Mmmm retail therapy in Kathmandu could be dangerous.
I tried to call the number I had been given, along with 2 other numbers I had found on the Biman website, I also sent an email through the site. There was no answer to all of them.
I hung around the hotel feeling sorry and frustrated with myself. Buddha arrived around 1pm and said we would go to Monkey Temple to feed the monkeys around 4pm. He also agreed with Yogi that my books would be in the trash by now. Such pessimists.
Climbing onto the back of his bike, much to the amusement of others as I had to use the steps of the hotel to get up onto it, we headed to Monkey Temple again to do an evening feed. On the way we stopped at a little side store and picked up 20 packets of cookies, which we opened and emptied into a plastic bag which was then placed into Buddha’s backpack and then headed to the temple.
When we got to the temple Buddha looked for a long, stout stick which he said he used if they got out of hand by simply showing them. He apparently came almost every night to feed them and you could tell some recognized him. As we walked they all came running and would huddle in front waiting for a cookie and holding out their hands to take one. The occasional one would get a little too persistent but for the most part they were really gentle and would occasionally tug gently at your clothing like a shy child. Buddha said to focus on giving the cookies to the mothers, babies and injured. But when the big daddy arrived we happily handed over 3 at a time just in case, even though he was a perfect gentleman.
As we walked we could tell the territories of each troop as certain ones would follow us up to a point and then would hang back if we proceeded into the temple grounds. There were also groups of stray dogs who would be reluctant at first to take a cookie but soon got confident and followed us up to their border lines.
The view from the temple was spectacular and the hundreds of prayer flags hung along vast distances at great heights astounding.
As we walked we saw ones of all ages and the babies were precious.
Often they would come and sit on mostly Buddha’s shoulders, aka the monkey whisperer, but there was one that was brave enough to sit on me and use my…ummmm…. you know… to prop himself up.
The other tourists loved it and I am fairly certain we are in numerous photo albums as this crazy pair feeding potentially dangerous creatures. All good though! The temple was more beautiful than I had thought now that we walked around in daylight.
Tongbas and Friends
That evening we all went out to the same place as the night before, this time with 2 Chinese ladies in tow. It was great fun and I had got used to the Tongba and so was able to slurp it down no problem. We ate tons of delicious side dishes and this time avoided ordering a main as the sides were filling enough. At one point another friend, Anna from Australia, called hoping to join us. I tried to give her directions but she got frustrated and asked me to meet her at the hotel. I said I would be right back and merrily hopped up and out. As I walked I realised just how inebriated you can get from Tongba and how much I had to focus. Back at Silver Home Anna wasn’t there and after some confusion we realised she had meant me to meet her at a hotel nearby the restaurant. Got to love miscommunication!!! I headed back and I must admit walking down dark streets on my 3rd night in Kathmandu was not on my most favorite things to do, and being a wee bit tipsy didn’t help the stress level. By the time I got back everyone knew what had happened and could tell I was not overly comfortable, but they soon calmed me down and we were all onto our 2nd tongba when Anna finally showed up.
At one point we were discussing how to write Nepali and someone wrote my name on my arm. No one, aka Raj, Buddha and Yogi, will admit to doing it. But in the morning when I asked Buddha how to say it he nearly fell over as it was something rather obscene and the type of pen used was almost impossible to remove. Thank heavens it was cool enough to wear a long shirt.
What a day and I still hadn’t got through to anyone at Biman about my books…