It’s been slightly more than a week in Kathmandu but I think I‘ve already got into the groove of this city. Feeling like a converted Nepali smack right in middle of this country’s capital, I have developed the skill to discern the ordinary from the extraordinary. No longer am I taken by surprise by the “no traffic law” narrow streets accompanied by the constant sound of honks; the survival of the fittest and fastest amongst scooters, taxi, minibus that are trying to squeeze side-by-side through a really narrow streets; walking around on sidewalks where piles and piles of unattended trash accumulate and have turned into somewhat a permanent fixture; pestering rickshaws and street vendors that won’t zip it and just don’t take no for an answer; people rocking their head side to side in agreement; the cadence and flow of the spoken Nepal Bhasa and most of all getting all my water needs from nothing except straight from the bottle.
Or this is just me after being away from my cradle for almost 4 months and I have finally turned into a seasoned traveler. Like most traveler, I simply adore going to streets market in this part of this world. Street markets to me are like a peek into the lives of the locals. I duly believe that street markets are a part of the locals because things that are sold there are daily things that the local depend on and not some overpriced leather stuff sold in corporation owned boutique. The stuffs here are made by real people like you and me trying to make an honest living and not by some repressed slave or child labor in some 3rd world country.
That is why my favorite town here is Thamel. It is like an open market place, some much life, bustling with activity, everybody wanting to sell you their wares. And if you like colors, I tell you the market here reeks of colors, it is almost like you are on dope but the best thing is you are still clear up in the head. I tell you nothing is as rewarding as waking up real early in the morning to get a table at a restaurant overlooking a busy intersection of Thamel’s market. With some flat bread and a steaming mug of Chai, I watch as the market slowly unveils. The market stalls and carpet shops are still setting up their wares whilst listening to the loud traffic and constant banter between shopkeepers.
This is harmonious mayhem; this is orchestrated pandemonium...
this is the Kathmandu at its best.
A street seller carrying his good with his head.
[Most of the pictures are uploaded to my facebook, feel free to browse there]