To break up all my blog entries of heavy facts, Sadhus and goat pictures, here are some international events you may not be aware of.
PLEA FOR NEPAL
|A busy Thamel street|
|On the way to New Road|
Nepal, which by the way is safe, and wonderful as ever, is open for business. If you have been thinking of visiting Nepal don’t hesitate. The after shocks have stopped, and there are lots of great hotel deals. Although there are some fallen buildings in Kathmandu, the destruction is spotty (yes some people are still living in tents), but most buildings are in fine shape. Much of the Durbar Squares are still standing and beautiful as ever (so far I have visited the Monkey Temple, the Boudnanath Stupa and both Kathmandu and Paten’s Durbar squares).
|Kathmandu Durbar Square - standing with a little help|
|Patan Durbar Square|
|Kathmandu: Sheva Temple, reputed to have been built out|
of the wooden of one tree.
|One of the Loveliness temples in Patan|
I just spoke to a couple that just finished their trek of the Annapurna Circuit and they said it was safe and extraordinary as ever. The major amount of devastation has been in the mountain villages. The donations to big organizations go to rebuild the old Durbar Square edifices, however groups of Kathmanduans have banded together to help rebuild mountain village people’s countryside homes (check out Hotel Ganesh Himal’s Facebook page to see what groups are doing). These resilient Nepalese people are still just as nice as ever, and eager to have you as guests in Nepal.
|The wonderful museum and Palace in Paten are open for tourists to enjoy|
NOW ON TO SILLY BUT TRUE
Another event you may not be aware of is that Nepal is having a Betel Nut scandal. Betel nuts are being shipped via India to Nepal then shipped back to India labeled as a Nepalese product. Why is this happening? To avoid a 113 percent India betel nut duty. If the betel nuts are labeled from Nepal there is only a 13 percent duty. So far this year, 3.00 billion Rupees worth of betel nuts have been shipped into Nepal (there are 100 Nepali rupees to the US dollar), and 2.4 billion Rupees worth of betel nuts have been shipped back to India. The Nepal Dept. of Agriculture has counted every producing and non producing betel nut tree in the country, even those at private houses and claim there is no way Nepal could produce anywhere near the amount of betel nuts exported to India from Nepal. Ah! Well. Could this become an international scandal? I understand betel nuts are used in some Indian cigarettes. Whether this is true or not, I have no idea. But I hope that ‘Bloody Mary’ from the play ‘South Pacific’ is making a buck out of this.
I confess am traveling for the first time with a folding toothbrush and it works super.
Here in Nepal, Jane’s secret life includes feeding a cat daily on the hotel terrace and they are both getting along just fine.
(Cat picture to come)
There you have it, some Asiatic deep mysteries solved while you are waiting for the heavy stuff to reappear on THE ETERNAL TRAVELER. Comments, please
NEXT: LEH, LADAKH