Well it’s a new year and a new start … in that my main resolution is to attempt to keep an up to date diary / blog of what we’re up to. After a great stay in Calcutta, or Kolkata as we should now say, we flew back to Kathmandu on New Year’s Eve. If I get time to backtrack on Calcutta I will as it’s a really interesting city – for some reason a lot of people don’t see it as a tourist attraction but it’s a fascinating place where the true spirit of Indian cities can still be found. It’s also got a huge amount of history – it was originally built by the British for the British – before that it was just marshland so a lot of the buildings have a huge amount of character and many of them were replicas of places in the UK. Anyway, I diverse. We arrived “home” to our apartment. Unfortunately the promised generator is not yet here although my emails and texts had obviously had some effect as they have brought an inverter as a short-term measure. For those of you who don’t know (and I didn’t), an inverter is effectively a huge battery that charges automatically when there is electricity and then provides it during the down time. It has limited capacity though and just provides power to limited sockets and lights – and the internet router thankfully! Apparently the generator will be here in a week….. although that is of course Nepalese time!
Neither of us being big NYE fan’s we didn’t plan to do very much and wandered out for our traditional few early beers. The streets of Thamel (our neighbourhood and for many the heart of Kathmandu) were already busier than usual and there was a definite party atmosphere in the air – some entrepreneurial folk had set up tables in the streets selling beer and snacks and the streets were definitely more crowded than many of the bars. By 1030pm people were already whooping and cheering as if it was midnight already and you could hardly move… time for us to retreat and see the new year in peace (that is if you could ignore the thumping music all around!). So now it’s Thursday 1st January and the sun is shining and there’s a clear blue sky, it’s warm enough for long-sleeved t-shirts when out of the shade so I’m going to take a walk.