Saturday, February 05, 2005

Nagarjun and kids playing doom

Today was a good day. There are still no phone lines, and I'm still writing off-line. I got up early, for a Saturday, at 9:00AM and listened to the BBC. The Iranian vice-president was giving an interview. Wow was she articulate (in English). She made George Bush Junior look like a bad high school speech-and-debate team member. Her argument for an Iranian nuclear power was that currently their country is using half of its oil production for domestic power, and that this oil would be far more valuable on the international market. She claimed Iran is a democracy and the US is against any democracy that isn't pro-America. The interviewer had some reservations about calling Iran a 'democracy'. The VP also stated that she believes the US is still sore with Iran over 1979, when the US embassy in Tehran was taken over and its occupants held hostage for 444 days. She was one of the organizers of that situation, and claimed they held the embassy because they believed the US was going to try to reinstall the previous government, using the embassy as a point to do that. She dodged the interviewer's questions about any feelings of remorse about that, saying it was a political movement, and didn't have anything to do with the comfort, or lack thereof, of the hostages for over a year. Kind of bone-chilling.

I went out to get bread this morning, and thought the phones may be back when I walked past the phone/internet/VCD store around the corner and saw there were people in it. I went in to find out that, lacking any internet hookup, the guy who ran the place was letting the local kids use the computers to play a big game of doom or quake or half-life, or whatever the kinds are playing now. I guess the computers weren't making money otherwise. I bet the kids were getting a good hourly rate.

We went to Nagarjun today. It's a hill-top temple 1000 meters above Kathmandu. I don't have any pictures, because there was a 3000 rupee (~USD45) charge for bringing a camera. I make USD5 per day. Without a camera, the admission was just 10 rupees. The sign said if you ride an elephant, it's 400 rupees. It's a strictly BYOE situation, which makes me wonder how often that comes up. We walked up the path that Ewan biked up last weekend with a Norwegian guy he met the previous week named Tron - like the movie. I was given a flower at the top by a Nepali guy who pointed out it was a rhododendron, which is Nepal's national flower. I thought that incident was a little odd. The forest on the way up was mostly rhododendrons, which will be flowering in about a month. The view was great, and so was the air. You could see all of Kathmandu and Patan. It was hazy enough that you couldn't see the Himalayas though, which is too bad, because at that altitude, the other foothills don't obscure the mountains as they do in Kathmandu.

The airport's open. We saw the Thai Air flight taking off at 2:00PM, like it usually does every day.


At 5:42 AM, Anonymous said...

"She made George Bush Junior look like a bad high school speech-and-debate team member." Will, Paige can do that now and she will only be 1 tomorrow. Glad to hear (or read as it were) the incommunicado is now communicado, at least limitedly. - J


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