I have never been a fashionista (or is it “fashion maven?”). To wit, I usually discover a fashion trend 5-10 years after it has left the proverbial train station. Sheesh, you’re talking about someone who’s ex-wife picked out his clothes. Same deal with this evening’s subject matter – traffic and food. Umm, they don’t go together, nor do they complement each other. However, I keep getting asked about what I am eating in Kathmandu and I decided to “marry” that subject with traffic. Especially since I was almost killed at least a half dozen times today, as both a pedestrian and a passenger in a taxi.
I still am not feeling very good due to a persistent cough – which I figured out is probably due to the dust here, not a deadly virus that I caught from someone on my Thailand jungle trek – so I wanted to do a short and sweet post. Besides, just how much material can I fit into a traffic report and a dinner menu? Not much I figured . . .
This is the deal about traffic in Kathmandu: 1. There are no discernible painted white or yellow lines to keep vehicles in their proper lane or for that matter, side of the road; 2. One reason there are no painted lines, is that it doesn’t adhere to dirt, which I would estimate is about 60% of all Kathmandu roads; 3. The horn is the driver’s best friend; 4. Foreigners can rent a car or motorcycle in Kathmandu, but my question is why? If you do decide to rent a car or motorcycle, double check your insurance coverage because it’s quite possible that driving a car and especially, a motorcycle is excluded under “dangerous activities” (seriously); and, 5. If you really want to know what it feels like to drive in Kathmandu, view this YouTube video . . . Enjoy!
So, let’s segue into eating and drinking in Nepal. Whoops! I don’t drink, so I couldn’t tell ya what they imbibe on. See? I told you it was going to be a short post. However, I do drink water and unless you want to die or get a nasty case of Typhoid Fever, you should avoid the water, unless it is boiled. Don’t even try to brush your teeth with the water. At the Shambaling Hotel I am staying at, the proprietor runs a first class operation. Consequently, free bottled water, as well as those water heating appliances are included in all rooms. Due to losing my small Canon camera, I try to avoid taking my tablet (which I am using for taking photos) out with me at night. Consequently, these photos of food are from the hotel I am staying at.
The national dish of Nepal is Daal, Bhaat, and Tarkari (lentil soup, curried vegetables and rice). However, you may want to avoid that dish, unless you specify “not spicy.” Many tourists are unprepared for the curry spices and end up with a bad case of diarrhea or stomach ache. I have tried the non-spicy version and it was delicious! It’s also dirt cheap. Momo is also a very popular dish in Nepal. This is a sort of dumpling filled either with vegetables, chicken, and/or mutton. I had this dish last night with the chicken filling and it was excellent. Again, dining in Kathmandu is quite inexpensive. You just need to exercise certain precautions, e.g., ensuring that produce is washed with bottled water or water that was boiled earlier. I am a big salad eater and I ask this question each time I order a salad. Same thing goes for fruit, such as grapes.
I am not a big lunch eater. I like to go all day and rarely will I eat lunch. It’s one reason I always seem to lose weight when I travel. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE to eat. Just ask my Mom. It’s probably the fact that I don’t have access to a refrigerator as I do at home, along with a daily morning exercise regimen and walking/touring museums, temples, etc., is the reason I don’t gain weight. However, occasionally I will eat one of these for lunch . . .