Wednesday, April 18, 2012



Because I was bored, I went to visit the national museum. Admission charge with my camera (separate charge for that) came to 150 NRS.

They wanted me to leave the bag of stuff I always carry. That's not going to happen. I explained they could either allow me to take my bag in or refund my money and I would go away. They compromised by doing a quick visual search of my bag both coming in and going out. Pretty much anything under hand grenade size would be missed in the search they did.

I wandered around the museum. There were three buildings and most of it was taken at my normal fast walk reserved for dull stuff. There were a couple of nifty things but overall the most interesting thing at the museum was the smell.

The smell of ancient antiquities, dust, neglect and disinterest. It's the special kind of smell you can only get from museums with very low traffic and a lot of libraries in the USA where print died long ago.

Museums are depressing places. The photos of famous long dead people and artwork don't really depress but when you see something intimate - something that actually belonged and was used by someone... And most of the time the stories are lost. The stories which are more interesting than the artifacts.

When I was a child, one of the things I was forced to read included reference to a 'hall of Bright Carvings'. [Disclaimer, this may be part of the Titus Groan novels but I don't recall any of that stuff. Just a story about this 'hall of Bright Carvings' which I shall now relate. The whole story could be a figment of my deranged mind and nothing to do with Titus Groan. Not a clue here and I don't care enough about it to actually research it as the novels don't look very good.]

As I recall the story, it goes something like this:

Once upon a time was a village. Every year, they would have a wood carving competition. People would labor for an entire year upon their wood carvings and then enter them into the competition. The best one was selected by a panel of esteemed judges. All of the other pieces were then placed into a large pile and burned.

The winning piece was then taken to the Hall of Bright Carvings. There, it was ensconced with winners from all of the preceding years. Other than the caretaker who cared nothing about art, nobody else was allowed into the Hall. The winning wood carvings would then sit and gather dust for the rest of eternity.

I'm not sure why they had us read this story when I was in grade school nor why I remembered it. The message it conveyed seemed to be 'don't try that hard, it doesn't really matter and nobody really cares'. Not the kind of message I want conveyed to students in grade school.

But that image of the Hall of Bright Carvings has stayed with me these many years. Any time I enter a museum, I am reminded of it.

On the way out, I was preceded by two Nepali gentlemen wearing backpacks. They weren't searched, I was. Baffling.


I was wandering the streets when I got stopped by a balding black haired Aussy. He did the double hand shake and identified himself as Paul. Something tripped my internal alarms.

Paul: "What's your name?"
Logan: "What's up?"
Paul: (Forcefully) "I asked what your name was - or don't you answer questions?"
Logan: "Not from people I meet on the streets."
Paul: (Gesturing for me to go on) "Walk your own line then."

I did.

I'm thinking he was either a beggar or a really bad con man. He would need to build his skill as a 'roper' before he can start getting things out of people. Yes, there are a lot of people who would encourage me to 'be nice' but I'd rather be wrong and follow my instincts. My instincts all told me 'this guy is going to try to get something out of you and it's not friendship'.

Don't get me wrong - I will often strike up conversations with people. Lots and lots of people. But my intent is a good conversation. I'm not trying to get anything out of them - I just want to be friendly. Given how often I am able to strike up conversations and even end up giving them my card or sometimes hanging out with them, I think people get that on some level.


I've had a lot of folks tell me that I should have a paypal button on the site to be able to accept donations. I've bowed to the wisdom of this and, after a small battle with Paypal, gotten my paypal account active again and put the button up.

If you feel like donating, great, thanks.


Nepal is extremely concervative with regards to women. If you take a Nepali girl to a hotel, there could be police involvement. Even if you are sharing a taxi! It is assumed that you are taking her to a hotel to have sex. It is automatically believed that she is a prostitute. Probably doesn't do well for her self esteem.

God help you if she is of a different caste.

These problems don't exist with foreigners. This is why a lot of Nepali gentlemen would rather date foreign women.

I have no idea at all what the women of Nepal do but I'm guessing it is not as free for them to date foreign men. Or if they will be assumed to be a prostitute if seen with a foreign man. My guess is yes.


I've been doing some research on the temperature of different places. It seems that the temperature of Kathmandu as well as that of Goa is about the same during June and July.

My visa for Nepal expires on June 16th. My visa for India expires July 29th. Since the only thing I'm wanting to do in India yet is to check out Goa, I might take the difficult and exhausting overland route down there. It will be via first class train once I get out of Nepal. But first class in India is second or third class by European standards.

When I am in Goa, I can figure out if I want to weather the monsoon season that will be there (as it will in Nepal) or move on to deal with the monsoon in either the Philippines or Indonesia.

For all of those Georgians (Republic of Georgia, not the state in the USA) reading, yes I will be heading back to Georgia at some point but I still want to hit some more countries yet.

Note that this is all speculative. I may decide just to laze around more spots in Nepal, get a visa extension and all of that - but I'm thinking Nepal isn't what I need right now. It has nice parts but because it has been turned into more of an amusement park for trekkers, it is a bit pricey to get out of Kathmandu. I've literally seen everything in Kathmandu I care to - a week or two ago. By the time Matt's visit is complete, I will be very ready to move on from Kathmandu if I can find a good place to go.


"When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home." - Sir Winston Churchill.


Pirated movie, 30 NRS. [Yes, that's like .36 USD.] The fun part is that if you return the DVD without any scratches, you get 10-15 NRS backi.

Hookah, flavored, 250 NRS. The prices are very strange here. For a hookah and a beer, you could instead have a nice room for the night. Or 2-3 big meals. I suspect the evil hand of the government.

Taxi ride: I've been told that renting a taxi for an entire day would probably cost 4000-6000 NRS. That tells me that it is cheaper to just get one for a ride somewhere then pick up a new one later. You can go anywhere in the city for 250 NRS on down though some of the taxi drivers will start at outrageous prices like 600-800 NRS to see if you are stupid and rich.

Milk and cereal are amazingly expensive. Every now and then, I just get a strange urge to sit down with cold milk and eat an entire box of cereal. 500g of cereal is 300-500 NRS. 1 liter of milk is 240 NRS. That will set you back as much as a steak dinner. [I realize normal people don't eat an entire box of cereal in one go but there we are...] This cost is actually as much or more than you can purchase it for in the USA...

Simple (less touristy) restaurant, mains 50-250 NRS.

Cigarettes can be purchased singly even from restaurants though you'll have a 40% mark up in a restaurant if you don't go to a store to buy them.


Well, I went to the national museum of Nepal in Kathmandu. I'd rate it as 'meh'. I got my 150 NRS worth but just. (For those who don't know the exchange rate, it's about $2).

Across the street - for the same price - they have a military museum. I will see if Matthew wants to go there when he is in town and sober. And not killing a hooker.

Here are some videos of it:

National Museum 1
National Museum 2
National Museum 3
National Museum 4
National Museum 5

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