There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Nepal - Day 4

We met Sharma in Patan, Durbar square and had lunch in one of the tourist cafes that over looked the pagodas. The scenery was as stunning as ever and the way the mist clings to the mountains in the morning never ceases to install a feeling of peace. Yet my sense of well being was slowly eroded by the troubles that Sharma was talking about. He just simply wasn’t happy anymore, he couldn’t find a job that paid well and he no longer felt safe in his home land. At the moment Kathmandu reminds me of key lime pie, a layer of sweetness hiding a layer of sour.

There is so much to see in Durbar square that it’s hard to know where to start. The one thing that always fascinates me in the pagodas, a very Chinese design in the middle of an Indian country, a blending of cultures and a blending of religion, I only wish more of the world could have the spirit of the local people of Nepal. I seemed to spend a lot of time wondering around talking to people, one man I spoke to took great joy in talking me through the intricate carvings that adorned the shrine of Shiva. Most of which showed men and women involved in various positions from the karma sutra and other tantric poses. Can people actually bend like that?

What really made me laugh though was just opposite the Shiva temple there was a wall adorned with various idols and right smack bang in front of the lewd carvings was a statue covered with some orange cloth. When I asked the man why it was covered over he just smiled at me and said that the statue was a carving of Hanuman, the greatest devotee of Rama and a noble warrior (the monkey god) and that his eyes were hidden so that he did not become offended by the site of the sexual poses in front of him.

Excuse the quality of the picture, I actually didn’t realise I’d gotten a shot of the covered statue until I noticed it on the edge of another picture.

I spent the whole afternoon on the rooftops of Kathmandu, drinking san Miguel from the Everest brewery, eating momo’s and inhaling the smoke from the over enthusiastic hippie’s spliffs. Highlight of the day was watching the sun set over the half finished buildings (most the buildings in Nepal are only half finished because by not completing them they avoid some kind of building tax) and catching sight of a flock of wild parakeets attempting to find a place to roost for the night. The sight of a massive flock of bright green birds, chirruping musically was just amazing. Beats seagulls any day of the week.


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