I arrived in Kathmandu a bit confused. Got off the plane and the airport looked a lot like a bus station. I had two things to do before I could get out of the airport: take a photo and pay for the visa. Didn’t seem like a lot of things to do, but they lasted for over an hour.
Finally I got through the infinite visa queue and my passport was the newly found owner of a 30day visa. I get my luggage and go towards the exit, together with a dutch couple that I met while waiting. As we go down the flight of stairs we see another ginormous queue with a sign saying “CUSTOMS” at its end. We all said: “S**t. Not another one”. One of the security guards, after seeing the look on our faces, came to us and led us straight to the exit saying “No, only for locals, no for tourists”.
As we got to the exit we were invaded by a lot of cab drivers. Felt close to the sensation I had at home. Since I knew that my friends were waiting and had absolutely no idea on where I was going I rejected all of them. Didn’t even know if their prices were good or not. I just assumed that they’re higher because of our location. I say goodbye to the dutch couple and join my friends. We look for a taxi but their prices are at least double from the ones I heard inside the airport. It’s the first thing I learned about Nepal. The price you hear at fist is just a greeting. I think its sole purpose is for you to practice dividing by 2 or 3. We took the cab that offered a free ride to the hotel if we stayed at that specific hotel.
A guy in the airport asked me if I was going to Thamel and if I’d share a cab with him. After I told him that I have no clue whatsoever on where I was going he went outside to look for another cab. We met again after I joined my friends in front of the airport and he heard us talking. He was surprised we’re also Romanians while we were surprised that he was. We got along just fine, even stayed at the same hotel.
The three musketeers in the previous photo are: Razvan, Alina and Florin (the guy we met in the airport).
I was already traveling for 2 days and felt a bit tired. It was about lunch time in Kathmandu, but I hadn’t slept for 2 days: the night before leaving for Istanbul and the one between Istanbul and Kathmandu. I was a bit tired but had a master plan. If I stayed up ’till night and went to bed together with everyone else then I’d have a full nights sleep and have no problem adjusting to the 4 hour time zone difference.
We rented mountain bikes so that we move around the city easier. We also did a 3 day tour to Kulehani lake, but I’ll get back to that later. This was my first day in Kathmandu and it was pretty nice. I liked the nonagressive crowdedness and it’s a bit weird that I didn’t notice the amount of trash on the street until it was dark and empty. I didn’t even notice the wooden sculpted windows and the degraded buildings. The crowded streets and how the people interacted amazed me.
The traffic in Kathmandu is like a giant organism. You have everything on the streets from children to cars to rickshaws to monkeys and there don’t seem to be any rules. No signs, signals, no lanes, just traffic. If you want to cross an intersection or get on a bigger street you just have to do it. Nobody will stop and let you pass, but at the same time nobody will hit you if you do. Everything just flows through interminable horns.
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Over and out.