The monsoon gave a dynamic performance this afternoon in Kathmandu. Without so much as a rumble for a warning, the levees in the clouds dissolved, unleashing cataracts, cannonades of rain, to wreak their liquid havoc on the world. Crash-dazzle magic, boom-flicker medicine, sky-bellow symphony spectacular. On my balcony, I watched the locals gaping from their doorways, the birds taking shelter under awnings. The neighbors filled the courtyards with pots and pans, dangled plast
Tonight I managed to get three lovely people to join me for a screening of a documentary about the Mongolian hip hop community. My delightful trio of company was formed by Tenzin the Tibetan chef, Gobin the Nepali trekking guide, and Marta the American, who works on movie production in Los Angeles. The screening was presented by the Kathmandu arts collective Sattya and took place at La Grange, a cozy new restaurant and bar near Mandala Street in Thamel.
The documentary was
A treasure trove of exquisite antiques at Baber Mahal Revisited, a historic Rana palace turned upscale shopping complex near Singha Durbar in Kathmandu. For delightful French food, dine al fresco at Chez Caroline and don't miss the coulant au chocolat for dessert! It's an ultrarich molten chocolate lava cake served hot with a side of crème anglaise.
Another long walk through the labyrinth of Patan, an al fresco garden dinner of vegetable and paneer kebabs with a glass of red wine at Dhokaima Cafe, and a street art sighting on the homeward stroll. Content in Kathmandu. dhokaimacafe.com
How have I been here for six entire weeks and not discovered Newari food until today? (This is why spending ten days paid vacation in a country just will not do.) Newar people are Nepal's aboriginals and, not surprisingly, their cooking is like moksha on a plate (moksha = the Hindi word for liberation from the cycle of life and death; literally "self-realization"). The Village Cafe in Pulchowk is owned and operated by indigenous women who grow their own food. The best part is
The monsoon has stepped up its game this week, unleashed its liquid combat in earnest. For most of June the rain was just scrimmage, one or two daily downpours sandwiched like damp parenthetical interludes between balmy expanses of sunshine. Now the days are waterlogged, soggy, wrinkled from dozing in the bath.
I had just begun to master the obstacle course of the streets and now the roads are riddled with puddles, the crowdedness compounded by an army of umbrellas, ajostl
For an unusually classy and delectable take on traditional Nepali cuisine, visit Café Swotha near Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur, just south of Kathmandu. The tiny café is part of the Traditional Homes Swotha complex, a boutique bed and breakfast in a beautifully renovated historic Newari home. The thali comes with tea, salads, pickles, your choice of rich, fragrant curries, two varieties of flawlessly spiced vegetables, and the most exquisite dal bhat I've had during nearly
I woke up at sunrise to catch the bus to Pokhara—no easy feat for a nocturnal scribe. I was so dizzy and groggy and befuddled that I left my glasses on the bathroom counter and had to wear my contacts for four days straight. I remember very little before walking out the door, although it must have involved much grouchy eye-rubbing and none too few expletive yawns.
As I pulled shut the ornate brass door handle of Sundhara House, every crumb of crotchet melted in the blissfu
faff (dialectal, British): a. (verb) to do things in a disorganized manner and without accomplishing very much. ("Stop faffing about and get the house clean already!") b. (noun) a time drainer; an unnecessarily complicated process. ("Getting your driver's license renewed is always such a faff.")*
*Due credit to my girl Phoebe from Exeter, for teaching me this glorious word. I have acquired a taxi driver. The taxi driver's name is Joel. He is tiny and sparkly eyed and very