The view from the roof of my hotel, The Tibet Guest House, a quiet oasis in the turbulence of people and cars, shops and scooters, lying in wait out there in the Kathmandu streets. I don’t have any pictures from street level. As I learned on my first day, stopping makes you a target. Not for safety reasons – I don’t wander around by myself late at night, it was just that the bright phosphorescent beam of my tourist origins shone out like a beacon when I stood still. It was hard right away because there were no street signs. If I turned the corner without looking, I might never have found my way back. So I tried to orient myself, and immediately, someone introduced himself, tried to tell me his life story (a sad one) and then tried to interest me in buying him food because – his words – “You can afford it! This is nothing to you!” And then he kept following me. So.
So I learned to not stop walking, but walking itself was draining, because there were no sidewalks and no lanes. You walked on the same street as cars, people, and scooters going in both directions, and the road was not a generous one. Honking was almost a form of conversation.
This the wonderful courtyard of the aforementioned Tibet Guest House. I tried to wait until there were no people present to take this, so this is as good as I could make it. They pipe in classical music too, and it is just as serene as it appears.
I took this through some slats in the hotel wall. They were decorative slats, quite beautiful in fact, and I wanted to capture what was going on next door. I wanted the frame of the slats around the lens.
You see all these people? This is what it looks like when there are less people than normal milling around. You can see some are dressed up. It was the Dasan holiday, and most people in the city had already left to go back to their homes in the villages. This year’s will likely be very different.