I left Kathmandu yesterday and am on my way to Bangkok. I have next flight in few hours and should be there in the afternoon to finally meet Jesse again!
But few last words about Nepal before. My stay in Pokhara was really pleasant. At this time there were just hippies from tourists in the city. Last day there I went with Jim, who was volunteering with me in the orphanage in Kathmandu one month earlier, to do some sightseeing. We went to see one waterfall and then paddled on the Pewa lake in the afternoon, just by the sunset. I went two nights on a drink, met new people, listened to live jazz music, smoked shisha and some Himalayan stuff and drank few beers. I can’t explain my feelings. Pokhara has a great vibe for free spirits. All the people that I met were really interesting and the music everywhere great, just fitting the atmosphere by the lake. I was a bit sorry to go from there at the end, and decided to return in few years – this time with Jesse.
I feared the time when I have to go back to Kathmandu, even though people that were there after the earthquake told me it’s not as media presents it. It took us 7 hours to make 200 km between Pokhara and Kathmandu, so I came there on Saturday afternoon. I had to stay in the city for one night, and I didn’t like the idea.
Well, as we came about 80 km close to Kathmandu valley the signs of the earthquake started to show. Even though most of the buildings were still standing there were some collapsed, and a lot of them had huge cracks on the walls. There were tents everywhere in front of the houses – people are still sleeping outside for the fear of some big aftershock. Similarly was as we came to Kathmandu. Mind you – most of the cityscape is still the same, and most of the houses look normally as ever, but from time to time there was some ruin, or some building that leaned down on the other. Surprise was also Thamel, the main tourist city center with narrow streets, where I counted just 4 damaged buildings. The thing is probably that they touch each other and thus support. One of the scariest sights was when I walked past a building in Thamel, one of the only ones not touching the others, looking like a tower, that they were demolishing. They did it so that someone was drilling the walls INSIDE, and all this time building was cracking and pieces were falling down on the walkway. The building was already dangerously leaning towards the next one, and I am sure that just some time after I ran past, afraid, it collapsed both of them. I don’t know how the person drilling inside took it. Other than that people in Thamel slept inside while those further from it slept still in tents (mostly self made). I was quite scared and at the end I got drunk on purpose so I was able to sleep. It helped and I got enough rest (plus the hangover next day). Since I had flight in the afternoon I spent my days in shops in Thamel.
Here is one last thought about Nepal. You know why there were so many victims of the earthquake? Because of corruption. Simple as that. They have rules and regulations about building houses, which cannot be more than two floors high and made also for the earthquake cases. But people are corruption the officials so they can build high tall buildings with no safety precautions. I was actually wondering how some of the buildings in Kathmandu can stand even without the earthquakes, before it happened. And the saddest thing is that government itself took a lot of money from those who donated for the earthquake victims. Can you believe it? So mind – if you want to donate, donate to the organizations and individuals themselves. The thing people need the most right now are shelters, and in Kathmandu valley also food.
That’s it from Nepal. Right now I am really excited to see my boyfriend again. I will probably take also some break from writing the blog and enjoy the beaches of Thailand with Jesse.
View to the lake from my room. I paid 4 USD per night.
The view, again
Not dead, just bathing with company 🙂
And the sunset from a boat
Pokhara from the boat
The walkway and hippies
And one recent photo from Kathmandu. That is how most of the city still looks like, not as media presents it. Seems like they chose just the worst cases. But one thing is sure – Kathmandu is now really empty and the lack of tourists can lead to big financial problems.