Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a dark city... Kathmandu

A couple days before I left Milan for a week in Kathmandu, Sarah sent me a message telling me to bring 40USD and a passport photo for a visitor's visa, a bit of patience, and ...a flashlight. HA!

(Since my stay is under 15 days my visa cost just $25 ...and she was right on target with the patience... the visa lines were nuts but, in the end, I figure it took me about 45 minutes.)

I knew there were regular power cuts throughout the city to save money on electricity... I figured the flashlight was for that... but have learned so much more since actually being here.

Not just to save money... there just isn't enough electricity in this city.

Sarah's house is set so that even when the electricity is cut in the neighborhood she can still have a light on here or there in the house. ...Water is also pumped in and she turns it on/off herself.

There is even an app to see when the power will be off or on! Yesterday there was just one hour in the entire day when she was WITH electricity. Wow. My first day here the power had been off for about four hours in the morning and then again for that amount in the evening.

Sarah has to plan ahead for when she will wash her hair and be able to use a blow dryer... or if she can have toast in the morning for breakfast!

Still... I hardly notice it. This morning the power was out but we did make toast in the oven. And, funny enough, she has Wifi! It feels great to be back in the part of the world that feels like The Land of Free Wifi. Vietnam was the same. ...Especially feels so nice, as I have been without Internet in my apartment in Milan for over two weeks now.

Come to find out my first night here, walking back from dinner with Sarah and Michael... the flashlight (or 'torch' as these two Brits call it!) isn't particularly for the power cuts in her house... but more for walking in the city at night.

This city is DARK at night! And not dark just because it is nighttime and the sky grows dark... but like no-street-lights-and-not-even-very-many-house-lights kind of dark. DARK.

So interesting. I've always taken lights in a city for granted. If I walk around the neighborhood at my parents' place in Upstate New York, then I expect it to be dark. But a good-sized city that's dark feels quite different.

The roads have many holes, bumps, rocks, etc. There are also a ton of street dogs (some not so nice... one attacked and bit Sarah's dog, Ellie, my first morning here while we were on a walk!)... so a flashlight surely helps.

I really like this city so far. ...The city and the culture. I do wish I were planning to spend more time here in Nepal, as it would be great to get out of the city and see more of this amazing country... but my mom says to figure I can always come back again and she's right. (She told me that last year when I was trying to plan my two-week trip to New Zealand and wanted to do EVERYTHING!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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