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Published: April 11th 2009
Thought I may as well write as many updates now whilst I can, once I get to Chitwan at the end of this week internet won't be as readily available.
The hostel that I am staying in is just outside the tourist area of Kathmandu, it is quieter than the main area but still very noisy at all times of the day! I think I am going to be glad of the peace and quiet when I move out to the rural area. I shall be going to a village (although by village they mean small town I think) from which one of the members of staff originates from so he was telling me about it today. There are 3 volunteers out there already doing teaching so I shall be put with them hopefully, although the health post is a short bike ride from the house. In addition to helping at the health post I can also help teach the children English if I want to as the charity have a 'library' that they fund for this purpose, which the volunteers help to staff.
Although no Nepalese is currently sinking into my head, within an hour of my language lesson this morning I had promptly forgotten everything! Its too easy to be lazy here because most people you come into contact with speak basic English.
I had a wander in my free time around Thamel. Its very colourful with shops and restaurants lining the streets. Its also full of people trying to sell you things, particularly trekking tours! I was only there for 40 minutes and got collared 3 different times by people trying to sell me a tour. Having said that, they do it in a very friendly way so you don't feel intimidated, its more of an annoyance.
There is nothing you can't get in Thamel, you could actually spend you entire time here never having to eat Nepalese food. I am making the most of it before going out to the village!
This afternoon we went to the monkey temple which is so called because of all the monkeys that live there. There are 365 steps, one for each day of the year, to get to the top. Its a steep hill but worth it for the views when you get there. Its very colourful with prayer flags everywhere, the colours each represent something different but I can't remember what he said now!
I learnt last night that when you ask for tea with milk, what you actually get is hot milk with a tea bag. I obviously looked very confused when I was given it at the restaurant last night, one of the girls had to explain to me that it was hot milk they had given me. It looked more like a cappachino! Having said that, Nepalese tea is extremely nice. Its very hot and sweet with spices added and I really like it, much to my surprise!
On the way back we walked through the non tourist area of the city. This is the real Kathmandu, where rubbish lines the streets, the houses, whilst not particularly awful, are obviously not in the best condition and people are obviously very poor. Having said that it was nice to walk round and not have people constantly asking you for money and trying to sell you something!
tried to upload some photos but its taking too long, sorry!
Anyhow, I won't bore you any more but did you know that if you hit and killed a cow (they roam the streets believe it or not so easily done with a car the way people drive here) you can get sent to prison for several years. Which is the same as if you kill a person, they are that sacred here!
ps yes mom, I am using sun cream!
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