Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Week Back in the Du

Well I've been back in the big Du for a week now, and have finally gotten over the Jet Lag monster. Although following quickly on it's heels was the Kathmandu Cough, which thankfully also seems to be receding. Still getting back into a rhythm here isn't easy, even if these ailments weren't bothering me. Aside from the normal chores one faces when the apartment has been empty for a month, I also found that my internet shut down and my phone ran out of minutes. Now these don't sound like difficult problems, but they are things that Kim had been doing for us, and I was a bit unsure how to fix them.

The phone was a piece of cake, just stop by any corner store, get a charge card for my carrier and text some code in. The internet however was a bit trickier. Because internet is horribly slow here we pay for some kind of premium service that gets a certain amount of "high speed" bandwidth every 3 months. Once that amount or time has been exceeded you have to go down to the office, give them your account number and pay up. Problem was that I didn't know our number, and I had no idea where the office was. After asking the staff at Imago, I found out the office was just down the road from Bhat Betini in Naxal, just a quick walk around the block. After some searching I found our account number and went and paid the lady at the desk and my internet supposedly was going to be turned on. After another trip back to the office and a four hour interval it finally was.

The thing about all these little chores that kept popping up was that they were getting in the way of what I really wanted to focus on, which is getting the restaurant up and running. While I was away not a whole lot got done, and I'm still waiting on my business visa, which I will supposedly get this week. I stopped by the building site and the plumbing and electrical have started to get put in. They have also filled in the giant hole in the ground where there had been stairs in the middle of my dining area. The walls have an initial coat of primer like white paint and most of the debris that had filled a lot of the space has been cleared out, giving the sense that it could actually be turned into a restaurant in the near future, which is somewhat exciting. It almost masks the lack of progress that has been made on other fronts, or setbacks like finding out our elevator may be delayed until November.

One thing I really wanted to get fully back into this week was the Saturday market at 1905. In preparation I went back to the fully expanded selection of salsas, pulled pork, chili, pasta sauce, tzatziki, etc. While I was away the hot sauces I had made have matured, so I was able to sell them as well, both a Louisiana style sauce and a chipotle sauce. I also made a buffalo wing sauce of Frank's Red Hot. Most importantly I'm rebranding the products with the restaurant logo and trying to push that connection to drive up interest. With the market now also taking place on Wednesday from 4-7 I have the opportunity to train staff in how to prep many of the condiments and sauces in preparing for these markets, that is as soon as our kitchen is ready and we actually have staff.

 All in all it's been a hectic thrust back into the life of Kathmandu, and in many ways it's not as exciting to write about as trips up into the great Himalaya (this time last year I was going up to Everest), but to live it is in many ways more exciting, and I can't express how much I am looking forward to getting things up and running here. For now it's baby steps toward the opening, and one of those steps includes working on vanilla and cocoa vodka infusions tonight and getting designs ready for the jars of next weeks market. Almost like climbing the trail, these are the steps we must take now so that later on we might sit back and admire that which we have surrounded our self with.

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