Friday, December 24, 2004

christmas eve

Saturday is Christmas, or, as the Nepalis call it, Saturday. Around 4:00 today, David left work dressed as Santa. He was going to a children's home - an orphanage - which is run by a friend of ours. As he was leaving, I was heard, just trailing off, saying 'but they're Hindus'.

Work is good. The Chinese man came to see us this morning. We recounted how the motor controllers had been on fire and we couldn't fix the bikes. He's getting us more bikes to look at on Monday. He also let us know the bike in question had already set a controller on fire before we got it - 'could be a short in the motor'.

There's a new set of photos in the gallery part of beecherinnepal. I call it a photo story, through our apartment, to find the meaning of Christmas. Ewan calls it a walking tour. Nini calls it a sort of jazz odyssey. We got some second-hand Christmas lights.

If I had one Christmas wish, it would be for a few CD's. T Rex's Electric Warrior is packed up in EPA storage. The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs is a 3 disk collection I failed to get before leaving the US. If you've any of these things and find them to be disused, I want you to know I'll be around for Boxing Day. If that argument sounds convincing, you could email me for the postal address.

It's Wednesday night here, and there's been quite a bit of Maoist activity this week. Monday and Tuesday were bandh days. Government offices were closed and all motorized transportation inside Kathmandu stopped by the Maoists' order. Many private businesses closed also. We biked around those days, and it was eerie how quiet the city was without the cars and motorcycles. Everyone was still there, but they were just walking and biking.

On Tuesday, eighteen Tata trucks were stopped on the highway into Kathmandu by the Maoists, all in a line. The drivers were told to get out, the Maoists broke the gas tanks open with axes, and the trucks were set on fire - right there on the highway. They were bringing supplies to Kathmandu.

There's another bandh coming on Monday, this one will be "indefinite". The foreign press is reporting this as 'rebels cut links to Nepal capital'. There is a run on gas and kerosene now, preparing for it. There was a run on the gas stations about two weeks ago - that was a combination of Nepal not paying India for its gas bill and there being a half-time strike by the employees of the nationalized petroleum company.

Don't worry about us here. Nepal is experiencing a serious political movement, and a few things will run short here in Kathmandu in the coming week, but the danger is not on a personal level for foreigners.


At 2:50 PM, Anonymous said...

William: By the way, did your mother happen to mention that Santa Claus slipped a 3-disc set of Magnetic Fields' "69 Love Songs" into your stocking on Christmas eve? It's amazing how that ol' man gets around. You want me to try mailing it, or just leave it in your room till you get back to States?


Post a Comment

<< Home