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February 13, 2009 - Kathmandu, Nepal

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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We had a jam packed sardine flight from Delhi. Jet Airlines had cancelled it's 6 a.m. flight to Kathmandu, so all the PAX from that flight were crammed onto the noon flight, which took off at 2. That's o.k.. we all made it, and I wasn't one of those poor unfortunates who arrived at the airport at 3 a.m. to only have to wait another 11 hours. Also, the air coming into Kathmandu was relatively clear, so we got a beautiful view of the Himalayas.

I got stopped by airport security on both leaving India and entering Nepal, my carry-on was loaded with Tibetan style jewelry and Ladaki style artifacts. I've got a Ladaki perak, or woman's headress. It's a very, very good replica, great patina, but the stones are not real turquise, nor is the coral real coral. The Indian army guy wasn't concerned after seeing what I had, and he got a good laugh at my collection of Punjabi CDs. Nepal was another matter. The Nepalese security guy suggested that I put the goods as "in transit", but I'd planned to ship them from Kathmandu, so I didn't want to do that. No agents were at customs when I went through, so I just kept walking. Choeden says that if I didn't have problems then, the matter is finished. I hope.

Tourism is definitely way off, I guess people are put off by the lack of electricity. Some days have up to 16 hours of "load shedding" or no power. Basically, for me, it just means careful planning of my time. I've already set up an appointment with Kalsang at Yeti Sweaters and will head out to Kalankistan on Monday for more woolen goods.