Sunday, August 3, 2008

Monsoon Rains

Today Sabine and I ventured out to the Monkey Temple just outside of Kathmandu. We thought we'd head over and see the National Museum and then go to the temple in order to be there for the daily puja.

The National Museum was an interesting mix of Hindu and Buddhist art and then an odd selection of plastic dolls from around the world and taxidermy animals from Nepal plus two whale bones and two emu eggs (why, I can't say). The dolls were definitely the weirdest bit. The one they had from the U.S. included a doll that looked like it was wearing a Korean dress. I'd thought they'd have had a Barbie for the States, but no. The U.S.S.R. dolls did not include any from Central Asia or the Caucuses (yes, they were still labeled U.S.S.R.). Sabine did not recognize the traditional clothes worn by most of the German dolls.

Then, just as gray clouds were beginning to form, we headed over to the temple. Basically my entire time in Nepal has had gray skies, so I wasn't too worried, but I should have been. We climbed the many stairs to the top and turned around to look at our view -- which was a giant wall of water about to pour on our heads.

We took cover and when it was clear this was not a short rain shower, we headed over to a cafe for soup and tea to warm up.

Luckily, by the time we were done with lunch, the clouds parted and we were able to see why the temple is nicknamed after monkeys. The monkeys hang out in the temple and eat the offerings. They seemed like rather nice monkeys -- no one was attacked while we were there. They were quite content to just eat the bits of rice and flowers left before the Buddhas.

On the walk home we got a bit lost as we went a different route. But all roads lead to Thamel (the backpacker area) so we were never in any real danger of getting lost.

Tonight I had pizza for dinner and basically broke my budget. Serves me right for having Western food.

No comments: