Jon Crispin's Notebook

A Few Days In Kathmandu

Posted in Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 29/07/2019

Hi Everyone.  I’ve been shooting a bit here.  Here are some notes.

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Some days I walk to the World Education office and some days I go to a local coffee shop to work on the suitcases.  Coffee Escape in Lazimpat has really good wifi and an interesting view of Kathmandu traffic out the front window.

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I almost always see these dogs while walking from the hotel to Coffee Escape.  They hang together and sleep wherever they want.  Today, a security guard at one of the nearby businesses was chasing them away from their usual spot.  They were back by the time I returned though.

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This is Ramesh Mainali.  His business is Shrawan Handicrafts and it is where we go to buy pashmina.  He is a great fellow and was introduced to us by his childhood friend Narayan Thapa who works the desk at the Hotel Tibet.

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Narayan often stops by for a chat on his way home from work.

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I have never been to Nepal during monsoon and it is amazing to see all the flowers, fruits, and vegetables in the shops.  It hasn’t rained much at all since we got here, but India is apparently getting hammered.  There was some flooding in Kathmandu before we arrived, but it hasn’t even rained every day.  When it does, it’s nice as it keeps the dust down.

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There are shrines to Hindu gods everywhere. Here is a little shrine to Hanuman.  When ever you see him, he is dressed up with clothing.

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We are kind of obsessed with dogs here.  This guy (and I wrote his name down somewhere; if I can find it I’ll update) was hanging out at the amazing Saturday Farmer’s Market at the LeSherpa restaurant.  As I have mentioned before, you can’t really mess around with them, but this  fellow had a collar which indicates that he belongs to someone.  He was totally trying to cage some cheese from the cheese booth and he sat there like a statue.  Everybody seemed to know him and he was super friendly and was open to being pet.

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We bought a couple bottles of achar pickle from these folks; lime and radish.  Their business is called AMĀKO, and the samples were amazing.

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I bought a couple of these cookies and they were amazing.

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Amazing breads too.

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I am guessing that this is some kind of kohlrabi, but it is hard to know.  You can see the corn to the right.  Lots of sweet corn here and you can see people roasting it on the streets for sale.

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I had read an article about the market in one of the local English language newspapers and they were touting the “Say No To Plastic” campaign. This market was so wonderful and would rival many that I have been to in the US.

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My friend Katie Harhen was asking about the 2015 earthquake and how the country is recovering.  Here is a (rather disorientating, I am standing on the pavement looking up) shot that shows what one still sees around Kathmandu. There is a building boom here, but most of the new structures are commercial in nature and fairly big.  Some of the temples in the city have been rebuilt, but there is still evidence of the quake.

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I love walking around the city looking in shop windows.  This business was (among other things) a shop that made trophies.  Football, dancing, basketball, tennis!

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We always go to Bodinath to walk around the stupa.  I posted about it last year.

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This year was totally different for us.  First of all, it was jammed with people.  I have mentioned before that the area is an interesting mix of religion and commerce.  It is such a peaceful and comfortable place.

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This room is up a flight of stairs and has always been closed off to the public on our previous visits.  We were invited in this year (not sure why, really) and were encouraged to walk around and check out all the Buddhas.  Lastly we were encouraged to sit on the mat in front of the monk on the left, where he chanted and blessed us.  It was strangely moving, and felt like something very important had just happened.

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On Sunday we had a bit of shopping to do so we went to Thamel.  I’m always on the lookout for shrines to Ganesh.  Here he is being protected by a couple of Naga.

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We had told our friends Ken and Kitty that we would buy a carpet for them, so we went back to our favorite shop to see what we could find.  The guys at Carpet House are so nice and helpful.  Lovely shop and fair trade too!

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We had also promised our friend Suzan that we would get her a lungi (check out this how to video!).  The one we bought started out as a single piece of cloth that was not sewn closed.  The woman in the orange sold it to us in her shop, but said that she knew a tailor that could sew it up.  She escorted us up the street, but couldn’t find him right away.  After asking a bunch of different people she led us up a steep flight of stairs and introduced us to this gentleman with his treadle sewing maching.  Sorted it out in 5 minutes.  His shop had been at street level, but was leveled in the quake, so he moved across the street and upstairs.

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Here is a happy Cris outside of his shop.

Thanks for following along.  Sometimes I feel a bit like the neighbor back in the 60’s who would travel and then drag you over to his house to show his (always the dad in the family) slides from some “exotic” vacation.  Anyway cheers everyone.

 

Kathmandu Walk

Posted in Art, historic preservation, Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 23/07/2019

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Cris and I usually walk to and from the Hotel Tibet to the World Education office, but since it is monsoon and has been raining in the mornings we only walk back at the end of the day.  It takes about 45 minutes and, while it can be a bit sweaty and dusty, I really look forward to it.  Yesterday I stopped to take the picture below and then this young man shot me this lovely smile.

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It is interesting to be in a country where so much work is still done by hand.

Thanks for following along.

Nepal Again

Posted in Food, Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 22/07/2019

dosa time

Hey everyone!  We are back in Kathmandu and that means one thing.  Masala paper dosa time.  Cristine’s favorite food.  I love ’em too.

I will attempt to post regularly here and will almost certainly post daily on my instagram site @jonkcrispin.

Cheers and thanks for following.

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