Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hair Cuts, Phora Durbar and Meeting New People

So nothing real big going on right now, just working on lots of little things. My first recent adventure was going to get a haircut. Wandering into a nearby barber shop I asked if anyone spoke English and one of the customers did and was able to relay what I needed done. The guy payed some serious attention to detail, did a really nice job, touched everything up with a straight edge, gave a head massage, and spent a good 45 minutes working on me. The charge? 50 NRS. Now I'm usually happy to just get what seems like a good deal, especially since I'm usually charged more and take it. I gave the guy 100 NRS and called if good. I figure a $1.50 for that kind of service with a big tip included is still a great deal. I'll try to go back there every three weeks or so if the same guy is there.

We also got invited to dinner a couple that went to school in the states and now live here in Kathmandu. Akshay is Neapli born and attended MIT and Berkley while in the US, and Jenara is from San Fran and they met while they were both attending Berkley. Both seemed really nice, very interesting and it was great to meet some other people. The dinner they served up was also very good, and we had a great time. They were also able to tell us about joining Phora Durbar and some places to check out in the city. They recommended we check out the book Forget Kathmandu, which goes over the political situation here as well as covering some of the last three hundred years of history. Going to give that a read when I finish the books I'm currently reading. They also recommended a pair of documentaries about Neapli's working overseas, specifically the Middle East. Going to try and check out both. Anyway good time, and nice people, we had fun.

Speaking of Phora Durbar, we got to give it a visit today when we stopped by for a Town Hall meeting for Americans living in Kathmandu. For those who don't know Phora is the American Club, it's property that is owned and by the Embassy of the United States and consists of some fairly nice green space, tennis courts, a baseball field, a little store, a restaurant, some mini-golf, a pool, and a gym among other amenities. Seemed like a really nice place, and at the meeting we met some nice people. Bumped into a woman who had taught in Freeport and a kid studying Nepali that had lived in Portland's west end. For such a small little place in the world, we bump into more people from our area while traveling than we ever should by statistics I would think. Getting back to Phora, it seems like a really nice place and as soon as we have non tourist visas (a requirement) I think we will try and apply to join.

The town hall meeting that the Embassy put on was informative and I'm glad they did it. They gave us some forms to fill out to have in case of emergency and went over what to do and how to prepare for the possibility of an earthquake here (Kathmandu has a fault 22 KM directly below the city). They also went over Visa issues with Nepal, India and for Nepali's wanting to go to America. Embassy staff were actually very helpful, cordial and really seemed interested in talking to people and offering actual assistance. This is not something I'm use to encountering with Federal employees, and it was kind of a breath of fresh air. Anyway big kudos to the embassy staff here, the event was carried out well and they have been very responsive and professional when we registered with them. Seem like a good team of people.


  1. Dear Brian, My name is Kim Fay and I am the editor of the guidebook, To Nepal With Love. I am seeking stories about Nepal and am interested in some of the subjects written about in your blog: Patan, Tamang Heritage Trail, dining. If you are interested in learning more about contributing to this book, I would appreciate it if you would contact me at With warm regards, Kim Fay

  2. Dear Brian,
    Nice experience. I am Hom Thapa; a naturalized citizen of the USA. I I have been living in Atlanta almost 20 years. However, I have opened a Restaurant and Bar in Kathmandu now. It is located in Baneshwor area, just opposite to Ncell Tower. The name of the Restaurant is Busy Bee Restaurant and Bar. You are invited to visit us. I hope to see you soon if you are in Kathmandu. If not, just stop by when you are here. I would be happy if you contact me. Best, Hom Thapa


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