Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well here's my little domain, my room on the third floor of the Himalaya Guest House on Freak Street in the Basantapur neighborhood of Kathmandu. Our house is down an alleyway off the street. The Nepali name for our street is Jhocchen but was renamed in the '60's when all of the American and European hippies visited Kathmandu. Locals tell me that hashish really was openly smoked back in the day. The hippies used to sit on the steps on the temples in Durbar Square (right around the corner) and smoke all day. The neighborhood has lost much of that vibe to Thamel.

I know Krishna who does runs the cleaners and also a pretty sweet handicraft cooperative. He supports 50 women in his home village by selling their work. We also know the guys who staff the Internet cafe - and also happen to run Ganesh restaurant where we eat our momos and drink beer.
My room is about 10ft. x 10ft. It's sort of like church camp but without the bunk beds. I also my own bathroom and shower. The shower and toilet are combined so the toilet seat is always wet.
There is no A/C but a large overhead fan. I sleep with the windows open which brings a nice breeze. There are very few mosquitoes here so having the windows open even without screens is not a problem. Yes, all of you people working in India can be jealous. The downside is that the dogs bark all night and the neighborhood wakes up at 5am. Also, the trash piled in the street is burned which brings an indescribable aroma to the rooms! Sometimes, though, the smell of incense wafts in as people go about their worship.


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