Namaste! Nepal is wonderful…full of great people and very interesting places…Kathmandu has been an exotic experience. Although I think Crossing the Street ranks up there with needing hazard insurance! It’s like playing the game of chicken…They drive on the left…there are no traffic lights and no rules for that matter! The cabs are a whole other challenge but the local buses take the cake. Today I braved taking a local bus by myself to the ancient city of Bhaktapur outside Kathmandu. I made sure to get on the very first bus, as the man at the hotel recommended. When I arrived, the bus was there with only the driver and 2 older gentlemen sitting on the chairs ext to the driver. I said “Bahaktapur” and the driven motioned for me to get on and patted the empty seat next to him and next to the other 2 men. I was hesitant but all the men seemed to just smile at me so my discomfort soon became amusement.
Before I could feel too lonely, the bus filled up with goats and chickens and most likely the entire citizenry of Kathmandu! We were stuffed like sardines and I could not move even my arm, which was good because there were no seat belts and this driver felt we needed to move at NASCAR speed. Finally, after my newly sprouted gray hairs were multiplying on my head, the driver announces to me “Bhaktapur!!!”…So off I go. This city was described to ma as an old walled city but as I exited the bus, I saw no wall and no city just shanty style homes. I will admit, sense of direction is not my strong suit but determination is so I just started walking. People were coming out of their houses to stare at me and I must admit, I did stick out. After 5 minutes of walking, I realized I was definitely lost. Suddenly, I hear honking. I turn around to discover the driver of the bus I had just come off only minutes before had seen I went in the wrong direction. He turned the bus around and came after me. When I turned to see him, everyone in and on top of the bus yelled “Bhaktapur!!” and pointed in the opposite direction. Now that is Bus service!!!

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