Wednesday, November 18, 2009


C: Street markets are where we buy all of our fresh veggies. Lots of familiar things, most I'd say, then every once in a while a mysterious item comes into season and finds its way to the market. We experiment, most of the time successfully. The one thing we've agreed on, cause P generally likes EVERYTHING, but we both dislike, detest, gag at the sight of- gooseberries. Has anyone tried one? They are bitter and sour and astringent- people generally dip them in a mix of salt, sugar and chilies. Funny little detail, but most things, fruit included, are green even when ripe. Our bananas and oranges are all green on the outside but sweet and delicious on the inside. Its a funny mind trick.
P: I also really like the way veggies are displayed. Something about it.
C:I agree, beautifully abundant and organized. But, one time, I saw a dog lift his leg and piss all over some cilantro. The stands are all at about knee height and there are so many free roaming dogs... beware, or just wash before eating. The stand owners don't seem to really give a #$^%.
P: C'mon is just a little dog pee. Very nutritious.

C: I'm in chili heaven. Nepali food isn't too spicy though.
P: Mhhh, custard apples.... I love these!!!
C: Grocery store fruits. Surprisingly similar to the U.S.
P: True... except I can never find custard apples at Safeway...

Saturday, November 7, 2009


P: These pictures are from our excursion to Durbar square. Here is some further historical info for the curious:

C: Again, if you squint and use your imagination, under the carvings that look like bodies with many arms (the various deities) are Tantric sculptures and are a bit risque. It is still debated how they should be interpreted...

C: If you squint and look closely, see the beautifully, intricately, carved wooden details on the building. Kathmandu was once revered for these carved frames, now a days, buildings are thrown up quickly to accommodate the wildly growing population in the city. They are a rarity as such.

C: Nepalis. The streets were full for the Dashain(look it up) festival, my overhead view.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Comfort Zone

P: There's my friend Robert playing the clarinet. He's also beginning to teach me a bit more about music from a structural point of view, and we may soon do some musical experiments together.
C: This was a brilliant "mash up" of sounds and culture: gentleman on the far right is from Nashville TN and has brought country music to the streets of Kathmandu. Far left, the singer and wife of the man on the far right, straight from Kathmandu, singing traditional Nepali songs to the tune of standard country. All night we kept repeating "where are we..." The sights and sounds so untypical of Nepal but yet so typical of Thamel- the part of town where all worlds seem to collide. It was beautifully strange.

P: That's the entrance of the lounge.
C: Our first night out at a shi shi night spot in Thamel (the super touristy part of town) where I typically dread going because of all the tourists and the street vendors stopping you in each moment to sell you the same trinket that the previous store owner just tried to push on you. We ate super good Korean food and lounged. This is what shi shi looks like in Nepal.

P: Thamel can truly be extremely exhausting. The hassle is incessant. But it is also where most of the nightlife actually takes place. So this night we actually came to see our friend and fellow Fulbrighter Robert. He's an ethnomusicologist and a great clarinet player, and after a few weeks of staying in Kathmandu he was already playing around town!!!
P: C took a picture of me while taking the picture below...
P: Something about certain angles of this city are beginning to remind me of my birthcity, Rome. It is not that it looks the same, but it ... resonates with it.
C: That neon drink of mine is indeed a mountain dew. Thought they only sold those at nascar racetracks in the south. Ha.

P: Doing my first coast to coast I lived on the Dew and beef jerky. Mhhhhh....
C: This is a standard scene for Kathmandu- colorful, crowded, unfinished, finished, dogs, bike, motorcycle, earth, sky. This is one of my favorite pictures that we've taken here so far.

P: I like this pic a lot too. In fact, it is our blog title image... It has been since the beginning. This simply means that today in blog time we have finally caught up with when the blog was started, which means that in real time we're hell of in the future, you know what I mean?


P: C didn't want us to post this one, but I think it's funny, particularly as I remember us playing glamorous with our Sanskrit Coke. Note that the spark in C's mouth is not a digital effect, but an actual old school visual effect. Analogue. Light and all.
P: This is Scary P on the Chair...

C: Blackouts happen each day, usually in the evenings. Apparently, they will get longer as it gets cooler and dryer as electricity in Nepal is generated by hydropower. At the moment they last for about an hour or so. Not to bad. We try to make them fun.

P: These blackouts are coordinated by the local government to "load-share" the grid: I believe that the entire city is in fact powered by only one hydroelectric plant just north of the city, and it just doesn't produce enough electricity.