Monthly Archives: July 2012

Toilets: Nepal Edition

Nepal is similar to India in many ways… but poorer, with fewer natural resources and a more fragmented government. That doesn’t bode well for toilets. However, as your dedicated reporter on the bathroom beat, I fearlessly peered behind closed doors.

Our crusade against plastic water bottles continued in Nepal, with considerable success. Plenty of trekkers in the Himalaya and Annapurna ranges treat river water with iodine to make it safe for drinking. That emboldened us to treat the tap water in most of our hotels and guesthouses, with no ill effects.

Two drops of iodine per bottle

Our two favorite abodes supplied purified water for us: at Villa Papillon, Bishnu had water jugs delivered.

And in The Bubble, they have a distiller.

As a result, we purchased far fewer plastic water bottles. Good thing, because after a few gulps, those bottles (and plenty of other stuff) wind up discarded on the edge of town.

Everest Extra: The Food

We’re miles from anywhere, the rocky Everest trail stretching out in front of us (and behind us). We’re hot… and cold… and achy… and sleepy. We have only what we carried in, plus what arrived on an animal’s back or a person’s forehead. The locals understand just a few words of English; our guide understands just a few more.

So, how’s the food?

Everest, Part 1: The Most Dangerous Airport in the World

In Nepal, Mt. Everest stares out at you from every bookstore and postcard shop- there’s even an Everest brand of beer (we prefer Gorkha).

Perhaps it was inevitable that we would catch a bit of Everest Fever ourselves.

The first step on the path toward Everest is a flight to the tiny Tenzing-Hillary Airport. Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened and return your tray tables to the upright position…

Strike Up The Banda

As we enjoyed a few lazy days inside The Bubble, political turmoil manifested itself outside.

This sort of street-closing, life-disrupting protest, known as a banda or bandh, is surprisingly common throughout Nepal. Political cartoons poke fun at the local fondness for protest.

Unfortunately, the impact on regular citizens is no joke. Workers can’t get to their jobs, and businesses are forced to close for days on end. People who are just scraping by in the first place need to get by on even less.

You’d think citizens would rise up and demand a more sustainable form of political expression. Then again, each citizen probably feels some sympathy with some of the protests: “Finally, a protest that speaks for me!”

And the banda plays on.

Leila’s World

One of our favorite things about spending time in The Bubble was getting to know four-year-old Leila.

This is one worldly kid. She has hiked in the Himalayas. When she’s told that she’ll be trying a Korean dish called bibimbap at dinner tonight, she doesn’t flinch. After all, she has a Korean friend in her class at the international school. What’s “foreign” to a child who has already lived on three continents?

Most of all, she’s a happy, energetic, fun kid. Here’s a glimpse into Leila’s world:

We mustn’t forget the other young resident of this household. As a bonus, here’s a glimpse into Taji’s world: