Sunday, May 13, 2012



One last story about Maroon Restaurant. Pretty much every place in Nepal is 'smoking'. There are a few restaurants that are non-smoking but the majority are firmly smoking.

My usual table at the Maroon Restaurant was near the front door. I was smoking there with Shaun and drinking a couple beers when two girls walked in. As they walked by our table, they did the prissy hand wavve and forced cough that showed how upset they were to have entered a smoking establishment.

Fuck you.

Kathmandu is a city where the natives - not tourists - the natives routinely wear dust masks because of the high amounts of pollution and dust.

Walking into a restaurant that not only allows but encourages smoking and throwing a hissy fit on the customers? Why did you ever leave your own country.

Yes, sadly I'm going to bet these cultural ambassadors were from the USA. That's the only country I've seen that kind of shit.


All over the world, I've found bus stations to be dirty, crowded and depressing. Nobody who is there wants to be there. They all want to be somewhere else. The bus station I found myself at in Kathmandu was no exception.

I'd booked this bus at the urging of Nawang who had used this company before. They don't have 'tourist' buses out to where I was headed. The bus I got was a lot closer to 'local POS' than I would have liked.

The journey 12-16 hours out east promised to be exhausting and dangerous and in this I was not disappointed. My arms hurt eventually with the effort of bracing myself so I wasn't catapulted unexpectedly out of the seat every couple of minutes. The only people that could get any sleep on that bus are deaf narcoleptics. Even then, it would be dangerous as you'd be tossed into something or someone else.

The bus driver piloted with the reckless abandon of someone who owes a lot of money to loan sharks and knows he will never be able to pay it back. I had thought it was the usual insanity of the bus drivers but they were trying to beat the kick of time for yet another strike.

Matt had intensly disliked his three or four hour bus ride and this was over twelve hours of hell. Travel in Nepal sucks. Between the hideous condition of the roads and the frequent strikes, I'm not seeing a lot of the civilized parts that are 'comfortable' to stay in. I'm sure that if you are paying insane prices for things lugged up mountains you wouldn't notice the strikes.

I'd purchased a ticket to Dharan, way out in eastern Nepal. When I disembarked I was assured that is indeed where I was. Found out shortly after the bus left that I was in fact in a town called Itahari, 20KM south of my target. There was nothing to see there and the only guest house which was open at that early hour (6AM) sucked.

A micro bus jam packed with people took me most of the rest of the way for 35 NRS until it was stopped by a strike roadblock. Unload all of your passengers or get torched. We left the bus.

On the long walk to Dharan I met up with a bright young man named Ashok. After a lot of persuading, he got my bindle to carry. I bought him a sprite. He then went completely out of his way to help me find a guest house.


I am staying in one of the arm pits of the universe. My new term for this type of guest house is a 'screamer'. It is the kind that I think many of my readers would run screaming from. Weird bad stuff like a condom floating in the toilet bowl, a worker who not only comes into your room but locks the door behind him when he does (I've no idea why), I don't think it's been cleaned or painted since construction - stuff like that. If you think that is sad, here is what makes it worse: This is the one I'd picked! It looked better than the competition! Oddly though, it is close to a free wifi pickup. The actual name of this is "Hotel Nava Yug". No relation to Yig, sadly.


I'd come here because several people said "It's pretty." After walking around a couple hours and seeing nothing but 'standard Asian crappy architecture' I'm wondering what they were seeing that I'm not.

Reading the wiki of it, it appears to have been written by a Nepali who really wanted some tourism. This place is all potential though.

Potential means you haven't actually done anything.

We'll see what happens with the kind Ashok and the strike. Those two factors will determine when I move on. Right now the only novelty of this town is getting stared at like the only black kid in a small Midwest town. Joy. I know what it feels like.


Shitty guest house, 500 NRS
Different shitty guest house, 600-1000 NRS

Spaghetti with meat sauce at the 'Hungry Eye' restaurant, 210 NRS, decent.

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