Well that's Nepal done after three great weeks. It's certainly a country that offers a lot but the thing that really made it is the people. It is such a friendly and nice country, obviously it has it's beggars and annoying touts but where doesn't?!
Nepal definitely hits you with everything from the crazy and manic in Kathmandu to the chilled out pace of Pokhara and Chitwan for a bit of nature. The pollution and the rubbish is a massive issue, I reckon my life span has been cut by 10 years from just the last 3 days in Kathmandu and you can really feel it in your chest and from the wheezing.
There are a couple if things I noticed which I missed off the blogs for the areas visited which I picked up on and worth a mention:
There are the guys that on the street in Kathmandu openly, and not discreetly, offer you weed and magic mushrooms. Then you've got some crafty w***s who slither up beside you, present this small cardboard box lift the lid and mutter 'tiger balm?' Since when has tiger balm been something to you need to consider as a dangerous purchase?!
And anyone who's been to Asia will have seen the guys sitting outside the shops playing games and even those not partaking will stand around watching. This also occurs in Kathmandu and I watched the rickshaw guys playing ludo and chess. But it seems even this tradition is evolving, as at a couple I points the old boys were huddled around a mobile phone playing ludo! Not as easy to stand around and watch though!
I could probably go on and on about the little quirky things I saw in Nepal, like the poor little street boy I saw in Pokhara who I was sleeping inside a rice sack in front of some shops in the storm, luckily covered by the shop roofs overhang and then seeing a grandad getting his grandson to run up to tourists to beg for money. There was definitely something to see at all times.
At the cremation ghats I went to at Pashupatinath. I remember the guy explaining the ritual for them burning the bodies and then he made a point of saying that for the women they have to use more wood to burn the bodies. He asked why I thought that...why? 'Coz the Nepalese women are so fat!' was his response. A rather blunt observation (and not to far off the mark in a lot of cases).
I could have easily stayed longer and it's so cheap that it's almost asking for you to stay longer. Maybe I'll have to return and do a trek there. But oh well, it's Borneo next!