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Sights, sounds and errr... smells of Kathmandu

Written on: Thursday June 14th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

So last night and today we decided to find the main 'tourist' area in Kathmandu - Thamel. There are 5 students from Newcastle here altogether so we arranged to meet up at the Buddha bar, for drinks and live music. We managed to get a taxi from the ring road, into Thamel, but taking a taxi is putting your life in their hands!! The drivers are crazy here - there don't seem to be any lanes, and they just drive anywhere they please. There are lots of things to take in while driving round Kathmandu (yes, apart from the cows!). There are plenty of roadside stalls, with people peddling fruit, vegetables, saris, you name it! Lots to take in!

 As for the 'sounds', it doesn't vary much from horns beeping as irate drivers get frustrated with the lack of organisation, and dogs barking on a night, as they all join in for a moonlight chat! Not that great when you're trying to sleep. The dog at our house is the worst of all - it's bark is so loud! We have often found it sat right outside our door as well, so the noise travels extremely well unfortunately! Had a pretty rough night's sleep last night, but that could have been partly down to the fact that we'd been drinking cocktails and so were quite wide awake when we got in!

Smells in Kathmandu.... Hmm what to say. The many fruit and vegetable stalls add a sickly sweet fragrance to the streets, as the sellers start very early and don't leave until after 9pm at night. The heat quickly increases the smell, and it can be hard to stomach at times! Other than that, the poor hygiene of the toilets don't help with the smell! I don't think this is something I will ever get used to!!

Aside from all of the above, there is still plenty more to tackle in Kathmandu, but we are taking our time, given that we have 4 weeks here and plenty of free time to aimlessly wander!!