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Travel Blog-Day 1

This is a blog about my 36-day trip through Nepal, India, and a little bit of China. I’ll make one post weekly until it’s all finished.

Day 1: Los Angeles-Guangzhou-Kathmandu I left Los Angeles pretty excited to be going back for the 1st time in 11 years to Kathmandu. Step one was a 15-hour plane ride to Guangzhou, China. Next came a 15-hour layover. Luckily I had gotten a Chinese visa just for this occasion. In L.A. the women at the counter who booked me in said that I had to pick up my bag at the airport in Guangzhou, go through customs, and recheck my bag. I got to Guangzhou, no bag. I go to the help desk; they have no record of it. The woman can’t find it on the computer at all. Finally she takes me to the guys handling all of the transit bags. They look up the number on their computer and say it was sent on to Kathmandu. I’m relieved. I go into the city to see a few temples and get something to eat. It is 6:30am. I ask someone where I can change money he says I can only use an ATM. I ask if there’s a bank, he’s says in perfect English, “ Look man, this is China, the banks don’t open until 10.” I use the ATM, get some money, get on the subway and go into the city. The subway is spotless, food is not allowed. It is also well organized. Transferring is a breeze. No problems. I get off at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park stop. The map says I need exit A to get to the Guangzhou Temple. The problem is, there is no exit A. There are C and D exits though. I take exit D. There are posters of Lang Lang everywhere. He seems to be endorsing quite a lot of products. I get above ground and using my iPhone MapQuest app, easily find the temple. It’s very beautiful. I was surprised at the number of people there meditating and praying. After, I walk to the Six Pagodas temple. It too, is beautiful. At both temples I am the only Westerner. There are quite a lot of stares. I decide to get some breakfast/lunch. Brunch is not the word for this. I’m a vegetarian, so the need is to find a place that will either a.) understand what a vegetarian is and make something for me, or b.) have pictures of their dishes on the wall. At one place I do a comedy routine with a guy who knows no English, which is comparable to my Chinese. I just leave. Another place, voila, there are pictures on the wall. I walk up; point at what appears to be tofu in noodles and pay. It IS tofu and noodles, hallelujah. I take my bowl and sit down. Every customer in the restaurant turns and stares. The only utensils are chopsticks and a spoon. I pick up the chopsticks and start slurping noodles. Everyone smiles and resumes eating. After this, I go back to the airport and get an hourly room, sleep for a few hours and take a shower. After a good nap, I go to wait for my flight to Kathmandu. It’s been put on hold indefinitely. The flight is supposed to be 5 ½ hours long. It finally leaves an hour and ½ late. No announcement, just a mad rush to get on the plane. Turns out the flight is 4 hours long and this 1 ½ wait happens every time. We arrive in Kathmandu on schedule. Everyone gets off the plane and onto a bus. The bus goes forward, stops, goes back to where it was and opens the other side of it doors. Really weird. My bag is there waiting. I go through customs, get a taxi to take me to Basantapur. It is 11pm. No one is ever out at this time in Kathmandu. The driver lets me off. I’m thinking, “it’s just like I remember it”, but now my perception is completely different, it’s a shithole. It has to be the darkness. I walk down Freak Street going to Annapurna Lodge. Roving packs of dogs act as if I’m not even there. I get to Annapurna Lodge. It’s smaller than I remember. Images of my wife saying, “You’ve GOT to be kidding.” run through head. I get my room. Lie down and try to sleep. The dogs are howling, barking, and generally having a ball all night long. That combined with the mosquito the size of Mothra biting me. Sleep is not part of the scenario.

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Categories: Travel
  1. February 12, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    thank for information, keep share. i hope ican travel too.:D

  2. October 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM

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  3. October 25, 2011 at 7:46 AM

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  4. October 14, 2011 at 3:01 AM

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  5. October 2, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    grande a prercum si alano tentesar con amensa. duptaso istalgu se demam son eliquindo mi edimev onobrusse y ramos opcio petra.

  6. September 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    “Love is the foundation from which your decisions about your life should be made.” ~ Darren L. Johnson

  7. Reuven Lewis
    September 20, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Well Ken, I can remember when you showed up in Warsaw Poland and the hotel that you made reservations with didn’t even exist! It sounds as if the folks in China and Kathmandu were a bit more hospitable. I’m flying to Brussels so that I can visit friends in Paris, Luxembourg City, Cologne and a first time trip to Leuven. Its nothing near as exotic as Kathmandu but hey, I know bags will meet me on the other end, well I hope. Anyway, it’s a big beautiful planet full of beautiful people.

  1. September 21, 2011 at 1:42 AM

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