Monday, October 6, 2014

Pokhara! (part one)

I've just come back from escaping the dust, trash-ridden roads and overwhelming smog of Kathmandu, returning with good pictures and words (yeah almost). 
As I have mentioned earlier, my family and I had gone on a five-day trip to Pokhara for the Dashain holidays. It was a blast. 
Well, for those of you who don't know, Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal. It boasts Fewa Lake, rolling rice fields, a stunning panorama of the Annapurna mountain range, and more settings should you venture deeper.

We set out in the 7AM chill of the outside world, hearts and souls set for the long road to adventure ahead. Clutching a pillow (because leaning on the cold, hard steel of the van window frame is too mainstream), shivering in my jacket, I looked forward to new sights and things to experience.
The highways were athletic, our driver was fast, and the mountain courses would gather our gasps when we would look down on the fields, houses and valleys.

The migration of Kathmanduites (I guess this was still in Kathmandu?) to their villages where their origins take root. My camera's scope was really limited from the van window, but I tell you, there were SO MANY BUSES.  And vendors, as you can see by the purple bus's windows. Note that they are quite well-dressed in the terms of street-vendors.

Close to three hours into the trip, we were caught up in a traffic jam, and remained there for about 30 minutes. Normally in Kathmandu you don't get into 30-minute traffic jams, and word passed from driver to driver about a collision some kilometres away. I then thumbed through the Where's Wally (Where's Waldo is the American version which I'm used to) travel edition and got kind of bored and looked at Wreck This Journal: Everywhere instead. There were also many curious things I saw through the glass during the jam, such as gravel-making machines, Drogba jerseys, milk deliveries in metal jars, and guys drinking from a hose on the side of the road.

Two kids playing with a wheelbarrow. Joy can come from an array of things!
Later on, we drove to the heart of all the traffic, and saw two buses scarred by a staggering collision. My sister said she saw blood on the seats. We found out from the newspapers after that there were five casualties. How tragic and sad.

Ah the nostalgia...
Before we moved to Kathmandu, I would always ride the bus with my parents to MAPE activities in my school and other agendas. It was sure a lot of fun, and I miss it now.

After four more hours of daydreaming and listening to music, our little party landed on the lake city of Pokhara.
Our lodging was just at the right bar for travellers like me, like it wasn't too shabby with the structures crumbling, and it wasn't too plush with so much plushness that you could drown (aha no pictures from me). There was a too-high flatscreen, but it was a flatscreen nonetheless, so I got hooked on 'Everybody Hates Chris' and 'Growing Up Fisher' and had to painfully crane my head from the waterbed next to my parent's queen-sized to watch NCIS: Los Angeles and Blacklist before I went to sleep.

Lake city!

I love this shot :DD But the Fewa lake was quite green and murky and I don't know how the heck I got this one xD

The next day, we went to this waterfall tourist spot called Devi's Falls. I'm not even sure if that's the way they actually spell it, but as the story goes, there was a Swiss lady called Mrs. Davis who fell down the waterfall fifty years ago and consequently the place was named after her. Don't ask me how the spelling turned out that way XD

All in all, I'd say as a natural spectacle this waterfall is breathtaking. You could spend hours just watching the mass of white splash down over and over (someone needs to make a gif of this tho), observe the fringes of the shelf being overwhelmed by elevated waves and see how far you can try finding where all the water goes down the dark ravine without hauling yourself over the blue fence. Dad and I also discovered some pigeons hiding in cracks and brown lizards atop ferns growing on the edges of the precipice because of the spray.

But for the tourism aspect? Lol, no…. There are shops outside as strategic tourist traps and it kinda lowers the charm of the falls, the way down and the platforms for seeing the falls are really unpleasant with irregular ground, poles sticking out every which way and it has no trashbins I guess, and the new statue things in Nepali fashion where you can stick your head in from behind so it seems like the statue's body is yours is just plain weird. I went there three years ago, and it still is pretty much the same.

The sight of this October waterfall is worth it, anyway.
After, we went to a Tibetan refugee camp where Tibetans flew to when China invaded their land, and today, they make nice crafts for a living.

In front of their little craft centre, ladies sat spinning sheep wool in wooden spools as fast as you could say Mourinho punches Wenger (okay, saying that isn't really fast but I think you get what I mean if you imagine Mourinho actually doing that).
Inside, you could accidentally step on a ball of yarn or a piece of wood because the ladies weaving intricate mats are so focused on making their fingers dance. Their loom is amazing, though. And their yarn is fluffy ^_^
Outside, a bubbly little kid called Tenzin ran along with my brother and a dog which looked suspiciously Shih Tzu. I gave him my loom band, to accompany a watch drawn over his wrist, and some other kindergarten words tattooed on. His smile only grew brighter.
Cool looms, cool yak, and this lady was cool too because Katrina Kaif was her fav actress.
Fluffy yarn.
For lunch, we ate in this alfresco restaurant with Fewa Lake directly adjacent, from where I caught the lake pictures from above. My camera died afterwards, but we did go to the International Mountain Museum and later, out into the night to check out some shops and restaurants.

Hmm. This concludes part one about my trip; I'm breaking it up as there are many photos and this is my first time writing a travel post, I suppose! So you can leave this blog now and snuggle yourself under some warm blankets, after all, winter is taking wing in the Northern Hemisphere and why are you still up and reading this.

Shah Rukh Khan is everywherrrrrrre
You didn't expect this, didn't you. Well, expect the unexpected and don't underestimate the power of a common man!! Heyyyy yahhh!!!! lol I really need sleep

Until then!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Swings, snow crystals and silence

First off, some quotes from a favourite character called Dr. Larry Fleinhardt from a crime drama series called Numb3rs. I've been watching series again, after a long time lol

"Children are wormholes. They're portals into the unreachable future and unattainable past. Well, as the things stand now, they exist only in the theoretical realms."

"Curiosity. Not good for cats, great for scientists."

Charlie: "Can't you think of this [playing poker in a casino] as field work?"
Larry: "Unfortunately, it is a poppy field, I'm warning you both: we're standing at the precipice. This is the event horizon of a black hole!"

"You can contemplate silence, but you can never find it."

And here are a few pictures I have gathered in the past few days, excluding my Pokhara trip which I will relate to in another post.

My dad captured this with me on a swing somewhere in a riverside resort in Chitwan, where we took a ten minute stop in the three hours into our ride back to Kathmandu. Bamboo swings have been built almost everywhere in Nepal for the past few weeks, as another form of celebration for Dashain, a 15-day festival of Nepal which commemorates the worship of the goddess Shakti, and emphasises family ties and the fun spirit of the Nepalis.
I actually like the cat's diary better. I must say, the writer is pretty clever.
Adam Young (Owl City) with Sekai No Owari. I just found out that in my absence with Internet interactions Owl City announced he'd be releasing two more songs very soon. And this photograph caught my eye. I love their buttons. And I'm betting 'Tokyo', their collab song, is gonna be superlative.
Snow crystals under an electron microscope from ScienceAlert's fb page. I mean, wow, God was really extravagant in creating stuff from the micro to the macro! But yeah, there's another thing. If I try to say what I just said two sentences ago in the comments of the ScienceAlert post, I'd be immediately pelted with numerous statements against mine. This is just sad. Please, people, wake up from your stupor and know that God is real and alive.

Just a really nice shot by my friend Tito Ivan of my other friend Tito Daniel conversing with a monk near the Boudhanath Stupa.

What a revelation.

Hi Misha,