Day 4: Pashputinath

Trip Start May 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 19, 2008

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Best day of the trip thus far.  Things got off to a humdrum start with a longer than usual language class, lots of rain, and a stressful minibus ride to the day's sightseeing target (had to dangle in the entry stairwell, with the doors open, due to extreme crowding), but once there... no words for it's beauty.  It was "Pashpuusomething," one of Hindu's holiest temples.  The air was filled with eerie ash from all the cremations going on along the shrine's river bank, made even more surreal by the dark rain clouds.  There were lots of monkeys here too which is always a plus.  I climbed up an adjacent hill towering over the temple which in turn towered over the city and blew half my shiny new camera's memory card snapping pics of the view.  Just then, some sun-rays broke through the clouds and the snow capped peaks of the mountains beyond became (barely) visible for the first time since I landed.  You know those perfect moments that come along every once in a while where time just seems to stop?  That was one of them.

A old local man who was feeding the monkeys called me over to make chit chat.  We chit chatted through a mild language barrier about general icebreaker stuff - he told me about his son who was about to move to Nebraska for some good ole American college education.  Not wanting to crush his dreams, I didn't let him in on the little known secret that Nebraska is a middle-of-nowhere shithole... at least from everything I've read about it.  Suddenly: "Heee heeeee hooo hooo haw hawww heeeee!"  MONKEY FIGHT!  A littler one was trying to snatch a bigger one's food given by the old man.  Angry monkeys are fraking scary things.

The bus ride back was the same deal, uber-crowding.  Having learned from my past stupidity, I didn't take my hand off of the camera.  It made hanging on for dear life a bit harder, but all was good.  Upon returning to "Pepsi-Cola" (that's the name of our neighborhood, because it's next to a Pepsi factory) I made a brief pit stop at home, played with Sushaan, and disembarked for the VSN office where a "mo-mo" (veggie dumpling) cooking party was to take place.  Oh! I had chole samosas for lunch.  The 23's are better.  Also I'm for surely in store for a diarrhea bout 'cause that place was definitely *not* sanitary. 

All the volunteers gathered in the computer room for some pre-mo-mo hangoutness.  Two newbies arrived today, both from Paris, and both very cool.  Damn near everyone else is from San Diego strangely enough.  The mo-mo's were taking longer than expected, so we went en masse to The Hut for some bottles of Everest, the delightfully crisp national beer of Nepal.  A medical volunteer named Jesse started blasting 80's classics, and a hysterical conversation about great 80's flicks and actors ensued.  Prompting some homesickness, Kris asked if anyone knew what the song from Ghost was.  Jesse and I instantly erupted in a tipsy karaoke of the one and only "Unchained Melody."  I hallucinated that for a second that he was Jeff. 

Mo-Mo party time!  It was more of the dinner shindig and less of a party.  The organization managers, including Sughanda and my host family, were all present.  Sushaan hijacked my camera at numerous points whilst bouncing off the walls, and took some actually pretty good pics.  If the Internet wasn't slow as a snail here, I'd upload them all.  I left for home with the family, made a brief dal bhat pit stop, and took Sudip (the older brother) to a "late" (9pm) night shindig at the hut with everyone else.  There I met a VSN worker named Sujan (not mixing these names up is hard) who told me the tale of how one of the girl volunteers has become his fiancÚ, and they'll soon be moving to a mountain city named Pokhara (next weekend's adventure stop for me) to conduct surveys or something.  He too dreams of moving to Nebraska for education.  I'm not sure what it is about Nepali college students and Nebraska. 

The end of day 4.  See(read) you all tomorrow.  I misses you!  :-(
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nabin on

You can virtually travel Pashupatinath Temple area and other almost all places of Nepal from the following website. This is 360 X 180 rotation virtual panorama. Use you mouse to drag left-right-up-down to travel different location.
Click for virtual travel.

Sandhya on

Loving your blog! I'm from Kathmandu, and i'm not in Nebraska (which is in the middle-of-nowhere!!) but in South Hadley, Mass (kinda middle of nowhere too...) instead...Senior here at Mt. Holyoke and procrastinating on thesis work by going through your blog...soooo fun! I miss home terribly. Hope you had a blast :))

sirrocko711 on

Thanks! I certainly did, my time in kathmandu will be burned in my memory forever! I hope you enjoy the blog, and good luck on your work, haha

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