Some more photos from Nepal, this time from Kathmandhu :
Table tennis, Kathmandhu 1994 style !
On my first full day of my very first overseas trip I went on a tour of some of the city sights, including Pashupatinath Temple which is a very sacred Hindu temple dating back to the 5th century (apparently Pashupatinath was one of the few historic sites to come out of the recent tragedy virtually undamaged).
Non-Hindus can only look from across the other side of the river, which was quite close enough for me once I realised that the fires were funeral pyres and there were bodies wrapped up in the cloth. No Mike, you are not at home now ! Yes, I had a fair dose of culture shock on that first trip ! It takes a lot more to make me feel queasy nowadays.
Also at Pashupatinath was this snakecharmer, making what I know now to be a more than decent income from gullible tourists like me. “Photo,photo, just five dollar”.
This was originally a colour slide, but I have converted it to monochrome in Photoshop as the original colours were rather blue-ish.
I was to go back to Nepal twice more, in 1995 and 1999, so I guess that I must have got over the culture shock ? In fact I have been to some part of Asia at least once a year since 1988. This is perhaps going to sound rather callous, but in 1995 I went to India for about 5 months after Nepal, and I didn’t bat an eyelid when a man died in front of me while waiting at a railway station, and people just started taking his sandals, his walking stick, etc. After a few months backpacking in India nothing much would shock most people. Life is cheap, death is commonplace.
After 5 months in India I was glad to get out of there and head to Thailand for the first time, back in 1995 India was a fascinating but equally frustrating country ….endless train and bus rides, scammers after your money, “Delhi Belly”, cricket games on the streets of Calcutta slums, incredibly cheap accommodation, equally incredible palaces, a non stop assault on all your senses by good and evil. But I have to say that I have been considering a return trip for a while …but not for 5 months again ! But then again, I have n’t been to Vietnam yet …….and I may have a trip to Malaysia coming later this year …