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.

 

Wilson, NC

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We stopped for gas at the northernmost Wilson, NC exit.  I wonder what this interesting abandoned building once was.

Durbar Square / Hindu Gods

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

Cris starts work tomorrow, so today was a day to walk around a bit.  The earthquake damage is very obvious with piles of brick everywhere and scaffolding around many buildings.

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These shots are all from around Durbar Square.

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Cris would gasp just about every time we turned a corner in this part of Kathmandu.  She came here first in 1979 as a Peace Corps volunteer, has subsequently come back to work in Nepal on a regular basis, and is really familiar with the city. It is really shocking to see the devastation.

Travel to Nepal and Day 1

As we were walking back to the hotel I started noticing pictures of Hindu gods that were about 3 feet off the ground and which were spread out about every five yards along a huge brick wall.  They are evocative in the odd way that things that attract my attention are.  I began taking pictures of them when I saw this next guy, who looked much more contemporary than the rest.

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These next two are Krishna.

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He is almost always depicted with a cow and a flute.

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And often a milkmaid.

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This sign was higher up on the wall and Cris was looking at it and smiling as I walked past her.  It is amazing to come to a place like Nepal with someone who speaks and reads the language.  It basically says, don’t piss or shit on the wall.  Which is why the images of the gods are placed just about the height at which a man’s stream would fall.  It seems a pretty effective deterrent.

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The issue of public defecation is something that the current government has begun to work on (for obvious reasons).

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We like Ganesh as he is the remover of obstacles and the patron of the arts and sciences. For some reason, we have always associated him with travel, which is something we do quite often.  Finally, here is Hanuman, the monkey god.

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Thanks for following. We are a bit sketchy on Hindu lore, so please pardon me if I have gotten anything wrong about the gods.

New Haven Union Station

Posted in railroads, train stations, Transportation, Travel by joncrispin on 24/06/2015

I picked up Peter at Union Station this afternoon.  It was a beautiful day.

Off to Montreal tomorrow to watch Friday’s France / Germany WWC match.  O Canada.

Burton to Scunthorpe

Posted in Maps, People, Travel by joncrispin on 21/03/2012

I took this shot of the road atlas yesterday while Peter was speaking to the Safety Officer of the Burton Albion Football Club.  I was looking at the map to see how to get up to Scunthorpe.  It turned out to be pretty easy and only took about an hour and a half.  Burton was nice and it was the first place in the UK where I heard someone use the word “nowt” (meaning “nothing”).  I asked a woman in a teashop in Burton about Scunthorpe and she said Northerners weren’t as friendly.  The difference between north and south here is much different that in the States. It is only a matter of about 65 miles.  In my years of travel I have found that everyone who comes from somewhere other than the locals couldn’t possibly be as pleasant.  For me, though they all seem pretty nice.

Chicken

Posted in Advertising, Animals, Family, Food, Landscape, Travel, Weather by joncrispin on 08/11/2010

 

My brother and I drove to South Carolina yesterday.  It was a great drive and beautiful weather the whole time. / I knew we had crossed the IHOP/Waffle House line when I saw this sign in Virginia.  Too bad it wasn’t Tuesday; I could have had an extra crispy gizzard for lunch.

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CNG

Posted in Travel by joncrispin on 23/03/2010

Compressed natural gas is used for fuel in lots of vehicles in Bangladesh.  These green three wheelers are all over the country, and as soon as Peter Carroll sees this shot, I know he’ll want one.  They would be great in Ithaca except in the winter.

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