Friday, February 18, 2005

From a friend in Nepal

I thought this might be of interest. I received this today from a friend who has been travelling and teaching in Nepal, India and Thailand for the last 5 months. -R


After 4 days of train travel in India, I flew from Varanasi to Kathmandu. I wanted to travel overland b/c its considerably cheaper...but the Maoists closed off all land borders for entry and exit to locals and foreigners.

Kathmandu is quiet, but very stressed. The energy is quite different from 2 months ago. The people are scared. Thus far there haven't been any bombs in the central Kathmandu area. But, the situation is escalating. I am glad to be leaving Nepal in 20 days. It doesn't feel safe here. Traffic is sporadic, and phones and internet are now only available on the black market. Right now, I'm sitting in a family's living room using their computer.

There has been quite a few food shortages due to new import bans. So. many restaurants have closed and the price of food, even Dal Bhat is enormous. There are protests in the park, and demonstrations in the steets. The military is everywhere. There's even a curfew that begins at 8pm. with the military patrolling the streets. They bang their sticks on the ground to announce themselves. All night long I could hear them outside my window.

Aside from all these things I was glad to leave India. My experience with Indian men has been more than disappointing. Sadly, women travelling alone are easy targets.

I booked my plane tickets in Mumbai. I have 20 more days in Nepal, about the same in Thailand, and then I fly into _____ 3/31 and then back to __ sometime in early April. Not so far away. I can't say I'm ready to return, but I'm running out of money. What to do? At least I'll have missed winter before I return to the valley.

How are all of you?

I send my love,



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