Yesterday after I sent the email, I walked around the area, and noted a crowd had gathered around this car that had its windows smashed out. About a dozen cops with batons and shields were in the area. Would have been a great photo, but didn’t think it would be wise. On the way back to the hotel, I saw a truck with cops in riot gear.
According to our guide, the protests were held by casino workers. Apparrently an off-duty cop recently went to a casino to gamble. When he was denied access, he orchestrated a raid as revenge.
I met two other ladies on the tour, Pam (from Dallas) and Michelle (former Seattleite now in New Mexico), who I like. That afternoon we met two friends of Pam’s at the Stupa View Restaurant, overlooking the Boudnath Stupa (lots of people worshiping). Great dinner, vview of the sunset, and good conversation, and lots of atmosphere. Traded a few war stories as to who was the weirdest travel companion. Michelle won with her tale of a fellow traveller to Machu Piccu began having past-life flashbacks during the visit. On the way back, had the wildest taxi ride of my life thusfar: the driver never used the horn (which over here is used to tell people you are coming or there) and played chicken with multiple vehicles over dark streets with potholed roads. I would’ve fished for the Nepali dictionary to the words “Sslow Down” but I had to hang on for dear life. He literally came within millimeters of a car and a wall. But we made it.
Today we rose at dawn to go to the Monkey temple, climbed 365 very steep stairs (better than a stairmaster) and saw the locals making pujas, or offerings. Saw a few cremations at the Pashnupath Hindu temple and some colorful sadhus. Tonight we’re having dinner at a restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet that features ghazal music.
Weather here is gorgeous–cool in evening and about 80 degrees and sunny during the day!
Hope all is well with all of you.