Arriving in Kathmandu was exciting. Not just because it’s a new country and new experience, but we were being greeted at the airport by Jacqui and Brendan! Jacqui and Kristi spent 5 months together in Central and South America four years ago. I’ve gotten all kinds of stories about Jacqui and was excited to finally get the chance to meet her and her boyfriend.
Jacqui and Brendan grabbed us a taxi. Taxis in Nepal are little Toyota Hatchbacks with little space. We piled in with our backpacks and the first thing our taxi driver does is drive over the curb scraping up the bottom of his car. While he got out to look at the damage, I had tears in my eyes from laughing. We spent our first day walking around Kathmandu rather aimlessly and just taking in the new sights, sounds and smells. Kathmandu isn’t a very clean city but it’s a very interesting place to visit.
Not to forget that today is Nepali new year!
Back home, Kristi worked with a Nepali girl who’s friends are here. She gave us a phone number and we were able to get in touch with them. 20 year old Yogen and his girlfriend Sha Buh came out to meet us and show us around the city. They brought out some friends too.
They showed us around, had us try new food like pani puri.
Yogen taught us a bit about Hindu religion and showed us Durbar Square.
Spending time with locals is the best way to get to see an area. The cool part was that they were just as excited as we were because they have lots of questions about our countries. Kristi looked at me as we fell behind the group and said, “This is what truly makes me happy”
After spending time at Chitwan National Park and Pokhara (blogs coming soon), we came back to Kathmandu. This time we were invited to stay in the guest rooms at Yogen’s house with his mother and father. We graciously accepted.
When we arrived, mama told us we were now her sons and daughters and welcomed us into the family.
Yogen and Sha Buh took us to to a temple where we saw a giant sculpture of Shiva. One man as we entered, held his hands up towards us (as you would when you say hello or thank you) mumbling something in Nepali. Sha Buh told us he is very grateful that we came to see the temple.
We learned that Shiva is the God of Gods. Krishna is the playboy god with 600 girlfriends and 1 wife. When I was told of this all I could think was he has 99 problems and bitches are all of them. Vishnu is the god of snakes. Laxmi is the god of money. Yama is hellboy, the god of hell. There are more than 132 Gods in the Hindu religion.
Mama made us a delicious dinner that night. She also makes an amazing Marsala tea.
The next day we went into the downtown area, Thamel, where we stayed 2 weeks ago, to do some shopping. Jacqui and Brendan did some souvenir shopping while Kristi and I bought a new day bag.
We spent the day learning small bits of Nepali. We can now say, “Hello” “Thank You” and “See you again!”
That night after dinner we dropped Jacqui and Brendan off at the airport. They have 1 week left in their vacation so they’re going to Bali to do some scuba diving!
We then went to the area where Sha Buh grew up to see her grandmother. She happens to be the sweetest lady and said we have to come back and have dinner with her and her family. She’s looking at us saying, “Please come! Please” How could we say no? Unfortunately with the earthquake hitting the following day, we never did get to have that dinner.
Back at the house we realized how lucky we’ve been to have met such amazing people who opened their arms and welcomed us into their home. They showed us a side of Kathmandu that most tourists never get the chance to see. Most people have told us that once we get out of Kathmandu, Nepal is amazing. We’ve had just as amazing of an experience in Kathmandu. All thanks to our amazing Nepali family!