Kasino in Kathmandu

Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Well! Kathmandu! Three weeks ago! Feels like three months! My last story, ok, so I was back in Kathmandu. I was coming out of my hotel and who should be standing at the corner, but Ram! So we catch up and decide to get dinner that night. I see Anu as well. So that night I get to Ram's shop and upon deciding where to eat he suggests we go to a casino so we can gamble a bit and eat and drink for free. Ok, so this is not my idea of spiritual enlightenment and all, but I find it highly amusing that I will be gambling in Nepal and he is right, the food will be free and the drinks too! One of his friends has never been gambling before so he meets us at the corner and we take a cab over. First we stop at Ram's apartment for some Nepali whiskey, which tastes like gasoline, sorry Ram, but it ain't Jack Daniel's!! So we get there and I am feeling MOST out of place in my jeans and knit pullover, but we sit and after a while and some food, I play blackjack. Now, I do not gamble, I don't even really like it that much, but I get a few chips and after a while I am winning. I am up by about 250%. Being ever so good I take my initial chips and save them, only using my winnings so if I lose them I'll still break even. But of course my luck turns and Ram talks me into playing more. The couple of drinks didn't help either I start using the seed money. Yes, you guessed it...gone!! GRRRRR! Damn Ram!! LOL Oh well, we cab it back to my hotel. His friend had fun and so did I. I would've liked to have said I won, but no such luck. I secretly told myself I would go back the next day and win it back...
The next day- I have been very good at using my Nepali Ruppees so that now I only have a few left and a couple of Indian 500 ruppee notes. Wanting to save my Nepali notes for the bus ride the next day I try to use my Indian ruppee notes, but noone will take them. So now I am in a spot cause I will starve and have no money if I don't break this bill, but noone will do it, not even a money changer!! Frustration growing, I realize the only place that'll change it is, lo and behold...the casino! So upon running into Anu and chatting with her she says we'll go to the casino and just play a little while then go and eat. I go to gt my bus ticket and realize I must've dropped it in the internet cafe I was at and run back to find it. Luckily it was still there on the floor! So after waiting for Anu a while feeling quite frustrated, I decide well, that is what I wanted to do anyway. I ask her if she has money to gamble with cause I can't afford to give her any. She does this weird reaction that many Indians and some Nepali people give you when they want to confuse you or skirt the issue by kind of nodding and shaking their heads and not making eye contact. This is my clue to press the issue. She gives me some excuses and talks around the answer till finally I have had enough. She has changed her story over and over so I tell her I am going to the casino alone, changing the money, and going home cause I haven't eaten in about 24 hours and am very kranky and totally done with her! So we part. Wait, it gets better. So I get there, change out the note and sit down to eat. After putting my ID and money and bus ticket into my money belt I get up to play. Scoping out the tables, I stand and watch roulette for a few minutes when a man walks up to me and asks 'Edward?'. Ok, so now I am wondering how he knows my name when I've only been here once before and didn't tell anyone. He produces my ATM card that had fallen out when I was putting it into my money belt!! Yikes!! I immdiately realize the same must have happened to my bus ticket. We look around, but it is gone, most likey swept up by a cleaning person. I have been nothing but stressed out today so I am resolved to get out of Kathmandu the next day. He says they should have my name at the bus stand anyway. Seeing that this is the second time I've misplaced the ticket and I've had such a crappy day, I decide not to press my luck. I cash out my chip and head home. The next day, at 3:45am I go to the bus stand. Of course they don't have any records and I have to pay for a new ticket, I knew I would. And to top it all off, I don't even get the seat I was assigned to, I have to sit at the very back of the bus, in the middle seat for a 15 hour bus trip with a very stinky Nepali man who wouldn't stop staring at me! The only concession was that two French guys were next to me, and their seats were even more cramped and they were taller than me. We wound up rooming together for the night to save money since it was only one night we basically only needed a mattress. The next day we caught a shared jeep up to Darjeeling with three other Nepali guys. Some kids tried to cop a free ride on our roof, but our bags were up there so I made them get off. Upon arrival in Darjeeling, elevation 2100 meters (6930 feet) the French guys went their way and me and the Nepali guys another. The Nepali guys were expecting me to share a room with them. What? I say no I can get my own. Apparently they were really strapped for cash. I was in no mood to deal so I make an excuse and they go away. Finally! Alone! Beautiful Darjeeling! Continued...
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