I grew up spending a few weeks in Door County, Wisconsin every summer with my maternal grandparents. There were a million wonderful things about the place, but one of my favorites was the slide show they would have from their travels that year. We would all go to the small living room after dinner, sometimes with our cherry pie, and my grandpa would turn off the lights and talk us through the show, with commentary from gram.
They both loved adventure, and my grandfather was a wonderful photographer. I remember sitting on the floor, teetering back and forth in a BackJack, trying to hold on to the details of the slide show. They traveled all over the world, and I remember seeing late-80’s style slides from Aruba, Easter Island, Alaska, and Kashmir. These slide shows prompted my interested in places far away and by about 11 years old, I had a long list of thing I needed to see.
My grandparents have since passed, and I haven’t seen a slide show in a while, probably because people don’t use film, or get slides anymore. I’m not going to shake my fist angrily at technology here, but I miss how special photos used to feel. Seeing a few over-filtered snaps of someone’s face with maybe a mountain in the background isn’t all that interesting to me.
In the spirit of two of my favorite people who have walked and danced on this earth, I have put together a bit of a slide show, photos with actual explanation, from my first few days in Nepal. I know some people don’t have time for that, or really even care, and that’s cool, you don’t have to.
This is RS Moto, in Kathmandu. It’s owned by some of the coolest kids in KTM and isn’t ust a motorcycle shop. They have a fantastic coffee bar, yummy cafe, and an extremely cool shop full of motorcycle stuff and handmade outdoor gear. They also make incredible custom bikes, see the Ducati just chillin’ there in the background.
This is some of the cool, locally-made swag in the shop at RS. It’s good I don’t live in KTM because I would have given them all my money by now.
Walking through the alleys of KTM was one of my favorite things about the city. This part of town, near Freak Street and the fabric markets, is especially old and suffered during the earthquake. Through a lot of alleys now are these wooden braces that are golding up the buildings. They don’t look super secure to me, and I think I’m right. Wandered through anyway.
This is a kinda crappy photo, taken from the back of a moto going through the city. It’s easy to forget what the country went through last year while having lunch at cool little restaurants, but physical reminders are everywhere, and heartbreaking.
One big regret of my trip is that I never got a saree. There were too many gorgeous colors and I couldn’t make a call. I will just have to go back.
Fabric shopping in this city was a damn treat. Patterns here mean different things, each tiny little city has it’s own print, and vendors have a lot to say about each one. I could wander the fabric area for days, though I would need to buy another gigantic North Face knock off bag to bring all the goodies back.
This is the lassi shop near the fabric market. They serve one thing, plain lassi with dried fruit and pine nuts on top. My favorite part about this place is that most people don’t do “take away” so you order and drink right there. There were TWO guards watching the patrons hovering around the shop, to make sure they didn’t steal the glass cups. They meant business, too, and would scold you if you walked too far away. I feel like I would be an excellent lassi cop.
Just a standard city scene near Durbar Square in KTM. Traffic laws are merely suggestions.
Nepalese donut! I don’t remember what this tasty treat is called, but it’s rice flour and honey, rolled up with corn meal, then deep fried. The little squiggly guy underneath? I don’t know how they make them, but it’s basically tubes of deep fried honey.
View from the top of a friend’s house in Bhaktapur, one of the very laid back, old cities near KTM.
My trusty steed for a day of exploring outside of KTM. (Note: By “trusty steed” I mean i sat on the back of it and held on for dear life. It’s a freaking DUCATI, it goes crazy fast and I am equally proud of myself for not flying off the back of it as I would be for driving it.)
That’s a special combination of fear and pride on my face. And that is just posing with it.
Pretty garlands outside a little tea shop in .Banepa
Mostly quiet temples in Banepa.
Cruising through Banepa with new buddies. I love the colors here, and how it felt like going back in time, which is the most cliche thing to say about old stuff, but it’s true.
I have a million more photos from the trip, some a re much better than these, but this was my first look at Nepal, and when I think about it, I will remember these few days perfectly.
More photos sometime soon.