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Published: April 30th 2010
I arrived from my dear Tibet yesterdayausted from not getting much sleep while dealing with the high altitude, I secluded myself in my room for the rest of the day. I exited only to go to the lovely garden of my Hotel Ganesh Himal, to eat a delicious Nepali vegetarian curry and a banana lassi.
This morning after breakfast I ventured into the busy streets of Kathmandu, ready to explore. Very similar to India, I thought, with temples and people everywhere, minus the cows. I only got to see 3! The streets are also very narrow, and the buildings in such decay! Many elaborate wood work part of crumbling buildings. Signs of poverty everywhere.
But the stroll was very pleasant, nobody bugs you, and the only trick is to learn to get out of the way of the motocycles, cars, and cycle-rickshaws. I was surprised by how little begging I saw in such a poor country and compared to other places I have been to.
Sunddenly, there are a bunch of people i the middle of the street, outside Dubar Square, my destination. More and more people stopping and surrounding these group of people. Than they walk
up to a store, there is some shouting. I see 2 police man. The store door closes, there was sound of victory, and they moved away. puzzled, i started to ask: "Do you speak English?" Lots of nods. I saw an European guy and run to ask him: "Didn't you know? the Maoists are planning a protest. There may be strike...."
Well. I guess I have been preocupied with my trip to Tibet and didn't do any homework on recent events in Nepal.... and now it's kind of late.... but I better get informed.
More little groups of people were to be seen and I started to notice that all shops started to close. (By noon, they were all closed, as the Maoists would go in, demand money and goods or they would threaten the shopkeepers....). Fear is around, no doubt about it.
I still walk the square, a few tourists are around and locals too. That's where I met someone withe good English and well informed, who gave me all the info all needed to start to make plans for the nest days.
I heard 28,000 that some 28,000 Maoists are in town, having come
from other towns and the countryside. They took over the schools. Than I was told it was more like 100,000!! The police confiscated some 17,000 marbles (like the ones kids play with) from the Maoists, which they use as immunition with sling shots, and also lots of "petrol for bombs". Everything will stop tomorrow...EVERYTHING, particularly from 10am on. A strike probably will start, no one knows for how long.
With that, I headed to the hotel and made plans to exit the next morning no later than 7am, to Boudha, an area mostly Buddhist, with nepalese of Tibetan decent. I will be staying at a guesthouse by a Buddhist temple. I think that's a good place to stay while all of this is going on.
At night, as I exited the Tamel area, guards with machine guns stopped and searched people on motocycles. I headed back to the hotel to pack.
No time to explain all the pictures but here are some.
Ex not really
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