And the winner is...

After logging what felt like countless hours using China's public transport, I can report that sleeper trains are superior to sleeper buses. The buses smell bad. I think I alluded to a truly terrifying rat incident on a train a few posts back. Well, it happened and I'm still haunted by it, but our ever-chivalrous Lee stayed awake all night making sure no rodents had the opportunity to get back in my bunk. In trying to decide the victor of the public transport race, I've decided to repress the rat memory and replace it with a gentle husband one, making trains the winner by a caboose.


Return to Kathmandu

We're back in Kathmandu, after an amazing trek, a few relaxing days in Pokhara (hair conditioner! real coffee! nearly-hot showers!), and a long bus ride back to the city. Of course, we have many pictures of the Annapurna Circuit and can't wait to tell you all about it, but I feel an obligation to go back in time and get caught up on the post-Kashgar, pre-Nepal experiences. We wouldn't want to deprive our fans - all ten of you - of stories of ancient caves, panda bears, and unscrupulous Uighur taxi-drivers. Patience, loyal readers, patience...all will be revealed in time.

For now, though, I thought you might enjoy a few of the things that occur on a normal morning in Kathmandu. I'd like to call this "Things that would never happen in Canada."

1. I woke and had yet another cold shower in yet another hotel that guarantees hot water.
2. When I left the hotel, a middle-aged Nepalese man asked if we wanted to buy some smoke. "Marijuana? Hashish?"
3. I nearly got run over by a rickshaw because I looked the wrong way. I need near-constant reminders to myself: they drive on the left, they drive on the left. It is Nepal. Maybe this should be my mantra.
4. At the Indian embassy, I had to complete my application by supplying the name of my father or husband. As you can imagine, Lee did not have to fulfill this requirement.
5. Also at the embassy, I saw four 20-something American boys dressed like Hare Krishna.
6. For breakfast, I had two cappuccinos, a lemon pancake, and a mango lassi. Total cost: $5