We started the day with breakfast in the garden of the hotel. The only sounds other than our conversation were all the birds. It was quite peaceful.
Ravi showed up right on time and discussed our plans for the day. I had written him before we left and told him I wanted to visit the jail and give a care package to some bloke dumb enough to get busted on holiday. Then I wanted to go to a Tibetan “refugee camp” because that is where I wanted to buy a carpet. These were not the normal things his clients ask for, but he accommodated us. In fact, I think he likes us.
So the day started with me calling the US Embassy to try to get a name of an American rotting in a cell in Kathmandu. After being switched from one embassy employee to another I was finally told they could not give me a name because of “the privacy act”. I never heard of that, have you? So we just went to the jail. We never got in because we did not follow procedures, which we had no idea existed. We might try again next week. The jail, as you might expect is not in the best part of town. We got a lot of strange looks from the jailhouse staff as we waited for permission to enter. One definitely gets the idea that inside this place is not a way to pass the next half dozen years. I am not sure why I want to make this visit, but maybe because I am in a place where Karma was invented, I might as well get some, eh?
The next stop was a place where Tibetan refugees have built a nice capitalist existence after being kicked out of their home lands by the communist Chinese. They brought along their religion, a sect of Buhdism, and their skills. One of these skills is making high grade carpets. There are really only a handful of cultures that do this, Persians, Native Americans and Tibetans. The Tibetans have always had their own colors and styles, and still do. Nowadays they also make carpets with Persian and South Western styles, but not that many, at least that we saw.
Where we went does an export business. I Googled Tibetan carpets and found their work for sale in the US at outrageous prices. I was pleasantly surprised at the prices at the factory. It was a joy watching the women weave them. They work amazingly fast, the fastest I have ever seen anyone other than a pick pocket use their hands. They knit 100 knots per Sq inch. The rugs using traditional styles and dyes are just beautiful. I wanted one, we bought three. Getting them back to Dubai will be no problem because of the way they “bagged” them for us. I am afraid when I get home and cut the cord holding them together they will explode like a confetti bomb. They will add a lot of color to our apartment.
We continue to eat Nepali and Tibetan food, in clean inexpensive restaurants. Ravi knows where they all are, and everywhere we go he helps us choose tasty foods. We are hooked on Momos. They are like dumplings with different fillings. Tonight I had momos filled with Buffalo. Tasty
In the morning, very early, we are off on Buddha Air to fly over the roof of the world, Mount Everest. It is a small 17 person plane, and Mary Ann is nervous. I actually wanted to go on a helicopter, but that was so expensive I just dropped the idea.
Sorry, no photos today, technical difficulties. But stay tuned I have a few choice photos of the Himalaya for you in the next post. I’ll give you a teaser here.