Monday, August 8, 2011

Weeks Thirty-Two and Thirty-Three Daily Journal

Week 32

Friday, May 6
Pokhara, Nepal

Welcome to the Buddhist Center!

We checked ourselves into the Buddhist center for the weekend and the course started after lunch.  There was an introductory talk, a teaching session, meditation and yoga.  After dinner there was another half hour of meditation and then we were supposed to stay silent until after the next mornings meditation.  See post, Who Am I??

Saturday, May 7
Pokhara, Nepal

The Buddhism course continued- wake up at 6, meditation, yoga, breakfast at 9, teaching, lunch, discussion, yoga, dinner, meditation.  I killed a lot of mozzies.  Then I didn't feel well all afternoon, so I guess that was retribution.

Sunday, May 8
Pokhara, Nepal

Same drill.  The course ended after dinner, but we still spent the night there.

Ted gets a shave!
Monday, May 9
Pokhara, Nepal

We checked out of the Buddhism center and into the Hotel Peace Plaza (note: the North Face Inn was better) after having breakfast at My Favorite Restaurant, great name. We spent the day doing the usual - Internet, reading, cruising around, and went to Sweet Memories for dinner.

Tuesday, May 10
Pokhara, Nepal

We hit the Internet in the morning and went to Perky Bean for breakfast.  Then Dave and I went paragliding!  (See post, Head in the Clouds).  Spent the rest of the day hanging out and had dinner at a Punjabi restaurant.

Wednesday, May 11
Pokhara, Nepal

We were supposed to leave today but got stuck because of the strike.  So we rented bikes and cruised around.  Dave went for a long ride with Ted and Sarah while J took care of some business.  Later we rode our bikes around town and got caught in a torrential thunderstorm that seemed to go on forever! For dinner we got some grilled cheese sandwiches to go.

Thursday, May 12
Kathmandu, Nepal

We took the loooong bus ride to Kathmandu.  It was a crappy broken-down minibus (even though they had sold us tickets to a real bus, of course) but at least it was only the two of us in two seats.  When we arrived in Kathmandu somehow we managed to find our way to our guesthouse in Thamel, Asmita B&B (the place we had tried to stay previously in Kathmandu, but unsuccessfully). It was cute, and the family who owned it were really nice. Thamel is like Khao San Road, but one thousand times more horrible.  It’s like all the worst things about backpacker/tourist areas crammed into a few narrow streets. (See post, KathmanDON'T).  That night we went out for surprsingly good Korean food.

Week 33

Friday, May 13
Kathmandu, Nepal

We woke up early and headed out to Durbar Square.  It was yet another strike day, which ended up being a good thing – the sites in Durbar Square were open, but the streets were devoid of cars and most of the shops were closed.  So it was actually pretty pleasant walking there.  We walked around together for a little bit, and then Dave got caught up in a long conversation with a “guide” so I fled and walked around by myself.  (See post, The Other Living Goddess).  When we had had enough, we headed back to Thamel, stopping at a Nepali food restaurant for lunch.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at La Dolce Vita, an Italian restaurant/cafe with nice seating areas, good wifi, and excellent cappuccinos.  Later we went to a French restaurant (owned by real French people) where we had things like real cheese, and beef imported from Thailand. (It's illegal to kill a cow in Nepal).

Saturday, May 14
Kathmandu, Nepal

hand-wash station
We headed out to the city of Bhaktepur for the day, an excursion that started with a long walk to try to find the mini-bus station that would take us there.  Finally we piled in and took off on the hour-long drive.  Bhaktepur was a really interesting city – much more quaint and calmer than Kathmandu.  We enjoyed exploring the Durbar Square there and then wandering through the back alleys, chatting up little kids who (of course) asked us for one school pen, you have a rupee for me?  (See posts, Curds and Whey, The Birds and the Bees, and Even More Bhaktepur). When we got back to Kathmandu we met up with Ted and Sarah, who had just arrived, and went to Roadhouse with them and a friend-of-a-friend, for pizza.

Sunday, May 15
Kathmandu, Nepal

We met Ted and Sarah in the morning and we all headed off to the Monkey Temple.  We got dropped at the “pilgrim’s entrance” and made our way up the steep stairs to the giant buddhist/hindu temple at the top.  We only saw 2 monkeys!  Not much of a monkey temple. (See post, Monkey See Monkey Do).  After we toured around there we had momos for lunch and then split up until dinner – a final dal bhat send-off meal.  Some good times in Nepal, but not the easiest of countries and we were glad to be headed to Thailand the next day.

Monday, May 16
Bangkok, Thailand

Yay! Back in Bangkok!  We took the airport link into the city and then headed to the Four Points on Sukhamvit Soi 15 where we were staying on points.  It was a really nice Four Points.  By the time we got there and settled it was time to meet Jodi and Shannon for dinner in Little Arabia.  Lebanese food was not what we expected our first dinner back in Thailand to be, but I always do love hummus.

Tuesday, May 17
Bangkok, Thailand

Monks. They're just like Us!
They shop for electronics!
We headed off for Pantip Plaza bright and early (after stopping, of course, for a quick streetside fried chicken and sticky rice).  Pantip Plaza is a huge electronics mall and we were there to get Sammy netbook fixed and get Fatty D cleaned.  We showed Sammy netbook to a number of computer repair shops who all insisted that we take him to the official Samsung repair center.  Today was a Buddhist holiday, and although every single other store in Pantip Plaza was open, of course the Samnsung repair center was closed.  And we couldn’t find anyone who would clean Fatty D.  So we walked (a very hot, far walk) over to MBK Center, the other Bangkok electronics mall.  Again, every shop there was open except for the Samsung repair center.  Luckily, we eventually found a place that deigned to clean Fatty D for us.  Next we headed to Siam Paragon, where we had delicious Dunkers coffee, and where Dave hung at the internet cafe while I shopped around.  Then we saw Lincoln Lawyer.  We didn’t spring for the VIP seats, but they were still really, really nice.  The movie was ok.  We had dinner at one of the really good places in the food court level.

Wednesday, May 18
Bangkok, Thailand

The man who soldered Sammy
Netbook back to health
Back to Pantip Plaza. The Samsung repair center told us we had a problem with the wires, quoted us a price and said it would take 5 days.  We made one last ditch effort at a repair shop where the employees were busy soldering things among huge stacks of computer parts.  They said it was a problem with the motherboard, quoted a lower price, and said they could take care of it in an hour.  Done.  We headed off to get some food, to unlock the iPhone 1 (which, it turns out, had a broken screen) and (after much, much agonizing) buy me a new computer.  Then we loaded up the new computer with tons of software for only $25.  By the time we left Pantip Plaza it was about 6 pm.  We had spent the ENTIRE day there.  We hopped into a taxi and went to Khao San Road, where we met up with Ted and Sarah who had just arrived from Nepal.  We had dinner and drinks and a fun night out with them.

Thursday, May 19
Bangkok, Thailand and Phuket, Thailand

We hung at the pool at the hotel all day.  In the evening we set off for the airport.  The plan was to take a taxi to the airport rail link but after going ½ block in twenty minutes of traffic we hopped out and speed walked to the MRT station, which we took to the airport link, and got to the airport just in time.  We flew Bangkok Airways to Phuket, where we took a taxi to our hotel (Phuket Centre Apartments) in Phuket Town, whcih was near the pier we’d be leaving from the next day.  We had booked the hotel using a $50 expedia coupon, and since it wasn’t working online we had to call expedia.  The customer service rep was horrified that we were spending our $50 coupon on a $40 hotel.  Anyway we had dinner at a restaurant next to our hotel that also ran tricycle tours of Phuket Town.  Weird.

1 comment:

  1. You got a new computer?? What kind? What color? How many reviews did Dave read before committing to the purchase? And most importantly...what's his name???


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