Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

Deja vu all over again

No flight today. We are booked to go by helicopter tomorrow to Lukla because the aircraft can deal with low visibility better than small planes.

Another day sitting in the Kathmandu airport and I was sort of depressed this afternoon. On the cab ride back to the hotel, Alec asked what I wanted to do the rest of the day. “I don’t care,” I said.

I realized that I’ve been on vacation for a week and I’ve spent most of the time waiting to fly somewhere. Depressing indeed. I think Russell, who is in charge of the trek and the subsequent climb, feels bad about it but he’s a logistics guy and he has no control over fog. Besides, the fog is jamming him up too.

I cheered up after having a long walk by myself. I snuck off, after Alec went to the roof to fuss with his satellite phone and iPhone, and took in the city on my own terms.

The city is full of tiny shops that take up part of the first floor of four or five story buildings. Most of them are like a miniature 7-11, selling lighters, magazines, drinks or gum. The shops are about as big as a walk-in closet. One or two shopkeepers sit on a chair inside or stand on the sidewalk. Other shops, just as small, sell clothing or fabric; jewelry; music; or produce. There are also motorcycle repair shops.

I passed a butcher shop guarded by a goat laying on the sidewalk. Bloody chunks of meat, maybe goat, sat on a table facing the sidewalk.

I passed a woman carrying her baby girl whose eyes were made up with black eyeliner.

I passed a construction site where men carried cement in wicker baskets.

I passed an alley where a boy, maybe 2, played alone.

I passed a cow, laying on a patch of grass, it’s life spared owing to religious custom, either Buddhist or Hindu, the dominant religions here.

As I walked, a boy, maybe 10, tried hustling me so I ducked into a store, the Blue Bird, billed a department store and unusual in its size and selections of items.

Most people smiled at me, a few stared forward and one man picked his nose and flicked his finger at me.

The dominant sound of the city is horns honking. Sometimes, a small bus would drive by and men would be hanging out the door.

When I returned to the hotel, Alec was in the garden having a beer with Russell, who will join us for dinner in one hour.


6 comments on “Deja vu all over again

  1. mountainrunner
    April 3, 2009

    I love all of the updates. Stay positive and keep noting everything for the folks still chained to their desks in Alaska! I love the details about the food, the people, shops, terrain… I’m totally enthralled!:)

  2. Jill
    April 3, 2009

    Mom says you got out! Big congratulations, can’t wait to hear about that adventure. Helicopter? The only one I’ve ever ridden was a glass bottom one in the Grand Canyon and it was fabulous, but we weren’t going far. Your trip sounds far more challenging.

    Much love to you both. How’s the altitude? Love, Jill

  3. Helena
    April 4, 2009

    Thanks for sharing all this with the rest of us!

  4. Jill
    April 4, 2009

    This message is really from the Bottle Washing Fairy, who for some reason cannot post comments:

    Saturday 4/4/09 4:55pm

    Just talked to Alec and Amanda. They have their own sherpa and are traveling with his 14-year-old son who has been away in India for five years and is headed home to his mama. A rocky trail, hydro-electric power so little shacks out away from everything with televisions blaring.

    Of course, left Amanda in tears as I told her how well Jade is doing. Cost them $5.00 a minute, because he couldn’t get the satellite phone to work, and we talked too long.

    Much love to all,

  5. Jill
    April 4, 2009

    I suspect those of you following Amanda’s Blog also have Alec’s, but just in case, it is:

    And there is a new post today with photos.

  6. Helena
    April 5, 2009

    Thanks for the link, Jill.

    I’ll check it out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 3, 2009 by .
%d bloggers like this: