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February 18, 2009 Kathmandu Nepal

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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It's always like this, it seems like I have gobs of time, and then suddenly I need to rush to get it all done. It's slower for everyone to finish invoices, take orders, etc., because of power outages, so the need for haste is not totally mea culpa.

The singing bowl selection got finished yesterday, each singing bowl gets a 30 second audition. I gong it once to hear all possible tones, then a quick spin with the mallet to see what sound comes out first. One bowl really surprised me, it passed the gong test, flunked the mallet test, but for whatever reason, I gave it a second chance, and the Gyuto Monks started singing out of it.

Kathmandu definitely gets a unique blend of tourists and travelers. Last night at The Potala Guest House, I met 62 year old Miss Swan of San Francisco. She's a well-seasoned traveler, has been all over the world, but decided that as she's at an age where this might be her last trip, she wanted to see how the locals traveled. She's endured the slow, dirty South Indian 2nd class trains and bone rattling 12 hour bus trip up to Dharamsala. It really surprised me, then, when she said that she might bail on Nepal, she couldn't take the power outages. I reflected on what concessions I've made to lack of power. One, no yoga in the room, it's too cold. Two, I'm in sort of self-imposed exile at night, looking for warm, battery backed Internet cafes, or eating dinner late just to stay warm ( and then having to run the gauntlet of glue sniffing kids to get back to the hotel). Three, reading by candle light, and Four, doing business during daylight hours, or when there's power. Inconvenient, yes, but worth bailing out over, nah -

I met another interesting traveler this afternoon, a French ex-aristocrat John Malkovich with hair look- a -like, who says that he works in the French government, but collects Himalayan antiques as a hobby. If anything that he says can be believed, the French government heavily censors all French news media, and it makes the Bush administration look transparent.

I've been dragging my camera around with me, but almost never use it. I've seen some fantastic people shots, but I feel like it's just too much of an invasion of their privacy to take their picture. I did get two nice shots of a street side dentist, though. He had a big glass fish bowl filled with extracted teeth, and rows of custom made dentures that had yet to be picked up.