Friday, 6 April 2012

More strange stories from Nepal (Part 1?)


Electricity is fair game to anyone here. It's off half the time but you don't need to be licensed to do anything. Just be alive. Briefly.

Here in K-Too bar (which if you're looking for a place to watch the Formula 1, they will show it) we see a guy wiring the plugs of a DVD player and stereo system together so they can use the one powerpoint.

I looked outside at the mess of wires running through the street and wondered how much of it was actually professionally installed.

In the guesthouse I was staying at there are a set of solar powered lights so you can still see when the power is off. The one in my room wasn't working so someone came up to fix it.

I took this while he was out of the room actually turning off the circut...
The bits of wire there? The two pairs were joined with electrical tape. He re-wrapped them again and it all started working. After taking out the board of switches in the wall first however, which had mains to it (if it was on).

It was a concrete building but the only escape was through the front door, which was locked at night. Lucky no fires while I was there though.


Facebook? What's this place?

Oh it's the facebook restaurant...
This wasn't some back street either. This is one of the main north-south roads through Kathmandu. The US embassy is not far from here (also a few other places that warn you not to take photos). All the staff inside wore the facebook-blue shirts with the logos on too. Moderately cheap food though, they probably sell my data to others to keep the costs down too (just like the real facebook!).

Hot Water

Found this in the bathroom of the Panarama View Hotel. Finally a place with decent hot water. This is how they did it:

Yup. Rusting gas bottle under the shower which dripped over it constantly. There was a maze of taps you had to turn on or off or something just to get water out. The water flow wasn't quite fast enough to keep the water temperature below boiling either. Still, it was hot.

Black Market Petrol

Before I got to Kakani I had the mistaken impression that it would be a large enough place to find fuel at. At least somewhere between the Kathmandu Ring Road and Kakani. Well I was wrong. My plan to fill up as late as possible so I could go as far as I could failed. When I got to the top I realised I had about 2L left, that could possibly get me to the bottom (the bike was still burning through it quickly however). To be safe I asked the people at the guesthouse where I could get fuel but they said no where up there as the police had cracked down on them selling it. But in another town the police had actuallly pointed me in the direction of shops selling fuel. Strange arbitrary rules

One of the people at the guesthouse had phoned their brother and they mentioned that it was still possible to get it in Kakani, but just watch for police...

Right. So I went down to the shops, pulled up, and grandly gestured to the fuel tank as if asking for fuel. One guy nodded. I walked up to the shop and pretended to browse. Under the counter he started to fill up four 1L water bottles with my illegal fuel. I bought some other items just to throw off any police who were watching. Once he was done filling I paid and he handed me my four bottles in a black plastic bag, then told me to fill up down the road.

And that I did.
After I got to Kathmandu I had to ride about 2km into it to find any fuel... There just wasn't any near the road north-east. Stupid city. I'm never going there again!

A stop for a drink

After finding petrol in Kathmandu I headed back up the hill at high speed, passing trucks and flying through police check points.

About halfway up I felt a bit thirsty, thought I might stop for a drink somewhere.

This place looks OK... what do they have.

Hmm. Maybe I'll stick to Fanta or Sprite. Or just a plain Jambo.
This was one of the suspected places that gave me food poisoning too. I think I blame this one. I had Aloo Jeera here (potato+spices) and I was the only one there. The other candidate is the View Himalaya Resort but they did have a lot of people eating there.

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