Dogster: Kinda Kathmandu

Jan 19th, 2010, 09:03 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 218
Dogster... I have missed so much by mainly reading the European Forum! I have just been reading your fantastic cruise ship tale. I gather you are Australian? Explains a lot if you are as they, myself included,have the best sense of humour!Beats that colourless stuff that passes for comedy in most other places.
I read how many people are urging you to write a book.... You should! Do you have a web site with other writing on it? Let us all know if you do.
Brilliant stuff!
KERRYAJS1 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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fabulous, fabulous! can't wait for more!
bniemand is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Ms.Michelle-- The Who-- do tell us more, please! It's not often we get independent information about Dogster's observations. Did YOU see any of those people or were they only crawling around in Dogster's head? Enquiring Fodor's readers need to know...
Marija is online now  
Jan 19th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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lol lol lol Marija - ever the detective. How could you doubt the Dog? I'd imagine Michelle and the ladies of the Courtyard have the right of reply. I'll just go sit in my bomb-shelter.
dogster is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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I will have to catch up after my own adventure but please keep on!
moremiles is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 03:56 AM
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I'm here and reading, Dog. Keep going.

bookchick is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 04:22 AM
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Sorry Marija: I'm reliably informed that our newest mystery member - TheWho - is NOT Ms. Michelle, esteemed co-owner of the Hotel Courtyard.

O.K. I'll come out of the bomb shelter, then.

I must say that this piece was incredibly difficult to write, knowing in advance that some of the people involved were going to be reading it - how to say what you need to without being mean and cruel. I tried to write it with affection. It's a fine line between pleasure and pain.

By the way, for anybody wondering - these trip reports of what is now nearly three months on the road will appear in reverse order. Kathmandu first, then a rewritten Tamil Nadu, then some more Mumbai and last, if I can bear to write it, the ordeal by Pandaw.

Which was about as horrible an experience as you can imagine.

But first, maybe, some more Kathmandu. I'm a bit 'in-transit' at the moment so words come easily - or not at all. Can't control 'em, they come when they want to.
dogster is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 04:32 AM
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This is too good not to continue. Am waiting with bated breath.
Nywoman is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 05:07 AM
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Ms.Michelle, do come join us! There always room for another Who and whatever information you can bring about the mysterious capers in Kathmandu. And a challenge to The original Who-- Don't paraphase or google background info for the tale, tell us something to show that you really were there...
Marija is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 144
Woof Woof, come on Doggie it's absorbing and I'm listening......Pauline
twotravel is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 05:46 AM
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I have it from a reliable source that dogster is eccentric and lovable. =D
travelaw is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 05:53 AM
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Sorry, trav, good old Bruno is not an objective source. Those dogs stick together...
Marija is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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‘Yesterday upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there…
He wasn't there again today,
Oh, how I wish he'd go away…’

Hughes Mearns: "Antigonish"

He’s sitting there, pallid and thin, staring out vacantly at Durbar Square. He’s wasted. He looked over at me and smiled. It was that same brainless smile I’ve seen for decades. I’m a bit sick of it now; the vacuity, the Woodstockian mindlessness of it all. I lived through the Seventies; I had to tolerate every loony-tune fruit-loop loser in the spirit of the times - now I just want to beat them to a pulp.

The kid was staying just round the corner, at some dive with a stupid hippie name. He’d only just arrived but had already found what he was looking for. He’ll stay in his fatal nexus of guest house, coffee shop and street. He’ll catch a glimpse of a historical site, a temple, a cow, stumble stoned through Durbar Square, plonk his skinny arse on a stool in the nearest tea shop and sit and smoke dope and crash out and say ‘I’ve been to Kathmandu…’

No, he hadn’t.

For this young man the mere act of getting here was sufficient. He’d done it, ticked it off on his list. Countries I have been to. Places I have seen. A couple of days here, a couple there, hurtling round at the speed of light; I’ve been there, tick, I’ve done that, tick, I’ve done it all – I’m so wise, I’m twenty-one, I’m a grown up, I’ve been to Kathmandu…

No, he hadn’t.

Not yet.
dogster is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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Now, I’m older than Thamel – but then, I’m older than almost everybody in Kathmandu. For that matter, I’m older than practically everybody in Nepal. Average life expectancy hovers at sixty-three years. I was truly a very senior citizen.

Which didn’t stop the latest Jimmy catching my eye - he knew an old hippy when he saw one. A raised eyebrow, the slightest wiggle of his head, a hurried conversation and I was following him down the street. Jimmy was pretty out of it but benign. He was a regular. He reached into his pocket as we were walking down the street and pulled out a lump of hashish that made me stop dead in my tracks.

‘No-o-o-o, way too much. Lordy, put it away, it’s huge!’

The block of hashish in question was the size of two cigarette packets side by side. It was a brick of golden brown, bigger than the hand that held it, easily the biggest block of hash I’d seen in my life. People pushed past us as we stopped near the taxi rank, dead centre of the main street.

‘It’s O.K.,’ Jimmy said, I’ll break some off for you.’

He rotated it for my inspection, completely unconcerned, then tore off a chunk from one corner and palmed it to me with a handshake. With rain starting to pour around us I returned too many Nepali rupees, said a hurried goodbye, threaded my way back through Thamel dodging junkies and motor bikes, cars and a particularly enthusiastic demonstration of screaming women who firmly believed that their shouting would remove China from Tibet. I settled into my new hotel doing what you do to the corner of a giant block of Nepali charas.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
dogster is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:15 AM
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Hotel Courtyard was exchanged for the Arcadia Apartment Hotel, booked on a whim after dinner at the restaurant directly opposite. It was a hotel with considerable lack of style, perfectly located with a huge room peeking over the Thamel rooftops complete with kitchen, a hard bed and two squash-me-flat-doonas that I could barely lift off in the morning.

I was content. I needed solitude.

The only things it lacked were heating - and any service at all. The key was handed over – three days later the key was handed back. That was it. Two sweet Nepali women visited me once in the meantime, to make the bed and check I wasn’t dead.

As it turns out, there was a good reason. I quote:

‘… just incase any of you see anything perhaps in the papers or news in the next couple of days about a european tourist being found dead in arcadia apartments in kathmandu dont worry im okay. it was the guy who lived 3 doors down from me. its been an afternoon of police and army people outside the door and stuff like that. i had to stay in the apartment for a couple of hours while they checked his apt and this was the tragic outcome.

i was originally going to write a bit just about all my amazing travels so far and how fantastic its been but under the circumstances i think ill just put it on hold for another day. and i guess instead …id ask you to spare a thought for the poor guy down the hall and his family & friends, and to just be glad that im safe and well in Kathmandu…’

I hope ‘Nikkiviper’ won’t mind my steal from her blog in travelpod. With great difficulty I resisted the urge to add punctuation and capital letters. There’s something kinda nice about her gentle style.

Dogster didn’t last all that long at the Arcadia. He kept thinking he was in the same room.
dogster is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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I'm following along on this journey, enjoying glimpses of Kathmandu through a dog's eyes.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:26 AM
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I'm sorry about all the druggie stuff. I think it's apropos. Dog endures it all for the common good. Just say 'no'.
dogster is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Good morning, dog. Just got home late last night from a week in Vegas. Catching up on my reading. How's Bangkok? Pls go say hi to Maeng, and wish her a belated happy 50th birthday for me!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 07:58 AM
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O.K. so Thamel is not REAL Kathmandu, although I have not met any humans who ever said it was some exclusive domain. So where is the REAL Kathmandu? The inexorable conclusion must also be that Kathmandu is not REAL Nepal, so what is real? Just start with what the All-knowing regard as Kathmandu? Oh, and why does the All-knowing go there in the most uncomfortable season?
merckxxx is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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Boudhanath hits you like a golden gong.

If you have ears to hear and a heart to feel, the reverberations stay with you for hours. Go at sunset. Walk in, stop for a minute and look straight ahead. Framed, like a giant Breughel painting, is a scene you won’t forget - a flood of people walking in a circle, a solid wall of pilgrims, locals, monks, monks and more monks heading clockwise with great determination.

For the stupafied I’d better explain.

‘…Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, Nepal. Located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa's massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. The Buddhist stupa dominates the skyline. The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of Tibetan refugees from China has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site…’

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