Need for a Different Point of View

Trip Start Feb 20, 2012
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Trip End Oct 22, 2012


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Flag of Nepal  ,
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It didn't take long this time. I was fed up with Thamel in one day and of Kathmandu in two. I had already seen everything I wanted in the capital and I still had too much to see much in the country. My allergy for the way people obsessively honk their horns was again up and I decided that it was time to move. I needed a more quite place, I needed less tourist, I needed less cars and motorbikes. Bhaktapur.

A little Newar city 16 km east of Kathmandu. It took somewhere close to one hour by bus, but once there I was happy of my choice. Most of the people would come and go back to Kathmandu on a day trip. I was going to stay here for some days. A place to sleep, and then out in the streets, walking up and down all the possible streets, alleys, and squares. The town is famous for the relatively unspoiled atmosphere, the pottery and the Juju-dhaun (literary King of Yogurts..Yo!). the pottery was there but wasn't outstanding. The atmosphere and the juju definitely were. I tried probably 80% of the juju shops in the old town, becoming some kind of expert. There are different level of sweetness (honey), and different levels of smoothness. I preferred when the honey taste could be pointed out without the entire thing be too sweet. On top a cuticle, exploding with fat (have you ever tried fresh milk?) slightly dried by the exposure to the air. The first bite (i preferred those that gave a wood stick to those providing a plastic teaspoon) had to envelop your mouth in a slight buttery feeling before letting the rest of the juju bring you the freshness and the sweetness. Plastic cup or pottery cup? That's hard to say. The plastic ones have a more consistent taste. In fact, the pottery cup is more an ingredient than a vessel. The first bite form a pottery cup surprises you with a soily taste and you immediately think of the cows walking (and sh&%$#g) at the pottery production ground. But then while you go on the taste change into a different type of juju, more rich in flavor, more smooth on the tongue, and by the end of the cup, you want another one.

So I was going from one juju place to the other stopping to have a rest at the crossroads, or in the small or big squares. What i really liked of the city are the numerous portico (that reminded me of Bologna, even if here where generally really short in length in comparison) all over the city where you could see people chatting, playing cards, reading journals, being shaved, spinning the cotton, or having a nap. The red bricks and dark wooden pillars framing the life in the streets in the same way the carved windows and doors framed the one in the house. From the same house or from the small shops I could here the rhythm of the copper craftsman, and the heavy hands of the stone artisans.

Even the sadu of the town, wasn't one of those professional take-me-a-picture-give-me-100-rupees that you can find in Durbar Square in Kathmandu (you can find the exact same two guys on any guide book, and if you want you can take their shot too in the same studio pose). Her ethe guy was more similar to one of those extravagant clochards that mingle in pour cities. Talking with himself, dancing with his cripple dog, smiling, smiling a lot. I gave him a small donation (I liked his light happiness) and we ended up blessing each other..and for few seconds even dancing together.
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