7/24/99 – Saturday – 9:45

In the middle of a Nepali sermon. [I’m pretty sure we only had English translations at the fancy church in Kathmandu, not here in Pokhara.]Nepali%20church_small[1]

I think I have the basic idea of a story to write.

In the unfamiliar streets of Kathmandu, I go shopping for Pringles. I step over the Buddhist shopkeeper; she slaps me [stepping over someone or pointing the sole of one’s foot at them is insulting and degrading]. I apologize; she laughs. I go to sit down on a box; she yells at me for sitting on her idol. I apologize again, buy my Pringles, and say thanks. As I walk out, she uncovers the box and turns it on. “Free Falling” pours out of the speakers. The streets seems more unfamiliar.

It has its basis in truth, the lady in Jomsom at the One Stop Shop. She slapped and yelled at Dan and played “Free Falling” when I walked out with Pringles one time. I don’t think the idol and the stereo were the same thing, but they have to be, since that’s the point of the story.

7/23/99 – Friday – 22:15

One last day in Pokhara, then to KTM. Today we ate at 10:00 or so, then the girls and I went to the main city of Pokhara to go shopping. They were buying punjabis, and I was looking for a G-string =). I ended up buying a punjabi. It was a fun time. Got back at 13:30 or so, then left at 14:30 to go to the Tibetan camp for our futbol game [arranged after an informal game during our previous visit].

We started out strong – a beautiful cross from the right corner by myself, and Jimmy with the goal. Football%20with%20monks_small[1]Then one by Garrett. Then they picked it up. I had a better personal game and lots of fun. We lost 7-4 in 2 15-minute halves. Went to supper at Once Upon a Time, and stayed to watch Payback. Danielle didn’t watch, but she sat there and read Newsweek….

Anyway, church tomorrow morning. Don’t wanna go, since I hate Nepali church, being an English speaker myself who can’t sit on the floor for shit. 12 days left.

7/22/99 – Thursday – 21:45

… Everyone else went to the Loba [Lopa] village today. Dan, Garrett and I stayed back, but I was sick so I didn’t see them much. Saw Entrapment tonight. Khogen and I are getting along pretty well. I really like him and feel back about the way he’s taken for granted. …

7/21/99 – Wednesday – 9:00

Didn’t do much yesterday. We were gonna go out on the lake, but it was cloudy. The rest of the guys did that; I went and watch Notting Hill at Billy Bunter. We ate breakfast at Maya (we’re there right now too) and dinner at Boomerang. Finished Without Remorse and The Street Lawyer yesterday and this morning. About 1/2 through the short stories book (O Henry). Gonna trade in the Runaway Jury and the Street Lawyer and get something else. Going to see Dolma at her orphanage today. She’s taking us to the other Tibetan refugee camp. Get back before 14:00 and we might go out on the lake. Not much else to write as far as events.

7/19/99 – Monday – 18:40

Back in Pokhara. Fun flight. I was in the front-left seat, so I got a great view of the mountains and the co-pilots instruments. Really cool.

Flying%20from%20Jomsom_small[1]Tracy, Dan and Khogen went in the 2nd plane. Was about a 20-30-minute flight, and we got in at 7:55 or so. Staying at a new guesthouse, across the street from Boardwalk. Feel some real tension within the team. Should be the easiest part of our trip, these last *18 days*, but I think this will be the hardest time as a team. We really haven’t dealt with a whole lot [of our issues]. Ate lunch at the Billy Bunter and watched the final of the Copa America futbol tourney. Going back in a few mins to see Wild, Wild West. It only came out two weeks ago =). Tracy’s birthday today. Heather got everyone else to go together and buy a disgusting cake. Cake had a buttery substance for frosting. Ate cake and steak at Everest, and I had a terrible cut of meat. I feel our team has grown apart.

I finally shaved today. Contemplated trimming it and leaving it on, but decided I didn’t want the tan lines. I think I looked older though.

Guitar is back =) but one string broke in storage. Tried to find a shop today, but didn’t see one. Just have to play like that for now.

Hate the climate here. Feel grosser after 20 mins here than I did after 2 rough days by Jomsom. Lots of tourists here too. Two of the Brits from Muktinath flew here right after us, and they’re staying by the dam or something. Maybe we’ll run into them. Flying back Sunday now, so we’ll be in KTM longer.

7/18/99 – Sunday – 16:00?

Our long trek at 6:00 til dark turned out to be to the Jomsom airport. It was a complete surprise for everyone but Tracy (she overheard). Unfortunately, it’s too cloudy near Ghasa for planes to get up the gorge, so we’ve been stuck here all day. We tried to use our time wisely though. At 7:45 I pulled out the map and suggested we go some place, meaning Mesokanto Pass. Jimmy was interested, and in a couple of minutes Garrett, Dan and Jeremy decided to go also. We gave ourselves til 2:00 to get there, then turn around. Unfortunately, we got to the first split of the Longpoghyun Khola and got confused. We missed the trail on the top of the north side, so we tried to go along the river.

First we tried the north fork. We got stuck and turned around. Then we tried the south fork, including a trail that seemed to head up to the top, thinking maybe we were at the 2nd fork. Dan got really wet when he did a spin move in the middle of the river. Finally we saw other people, and they pointed us to a trail that led up the ridge between the two forks (turned out we were at the first split). It was a hell of a hill, and it took some balls to climb. I led a lot of the time. We finally got to where we could see a city, and correctly guessed it was Kaisang. We could also see the correct trail on the other side of the huge gorge.

The trail we were on only led to a Nepali Army Mountain Training school, which Dan knew was at 13-some thousand feet. The base blocked our trail, so we turned back. It was a good time. We stayed on the bigger, and that gave us a flatter route over the ridge, but we still had the same steep decline. Halfway back we stopped and had snacks, as well as taking pictures in our underwear.

Underwear_small[1]Just as we got done with the pix a guy started up the hill, so we quickly got dressed. Walked back to Jomsom and took a shower.

I was kinda disappointed about flying. I really wanted to trek back, and was prepared for it (we still might have to if it’s cloudy for 2 more days). I really wasn’t excited about it, but I wanted to persevere and do it. Wasn’t at all disappointed about today – I wasn’t expecting to make it at all, though it would have been cool. Little sore though, so I probably won’t try to do it tomorrow. Hope the sky clears to the plane can come.

Finally got dinner. Took like 2 hours, and the girls and the other people here got food first, even though we ordered an hour before them. The guys got ticked off, but I can’t see the justification for that. It’s not America, and we knew that when we ordered. It works differently here, and we can’t expect American service. Kinda divided b/t girls and guys today, cuz we had separate days and now they’re eating in the other room. Think I’m gonna go to bed. Got sunburned today and feel pretty tired. Hope the flight comes.

7/17/99 – Saturday – 12:15

In Jomsom again, we’re staying here tonight, not sure why. Garrett said we’re staying here and resting, then leaving at 6 AM and going all day. What the hell is the point of that? Everyone got kinda irritable today. Descending%20to%20Jomsom_small[1]

We burned down the hill for awhile, but then we got to a river that had swollen since we came up to Kagbeni. Jimmy and Danielle went across with shoes on, and they were wet after that. I kinda fell in once and got all dirty. That kinda slowed us down. But we still got here in 4 hours.

The govt. abolished trekking permits 5 days ago, so we could have gone through Thorung La and into Upper Mustang. Sux. [Thorung La, yes; Mustang, no. That area remains closed, though it’s easier to get a permit now.]