We had an early morning wake up before we hopped in an overpriced cab to take us to the Delhi airport. We were heading to Nepal and not looking back. It was a breeze through the airport and we boarded our plane with ease. I was prepared for a boring hour and a half trip to Kathmandu and was pleasantly surprised with the entertainment and pampering I received instead.
As I sat down I was handed a prepackaged lemonade drink for my drinking pleasure.
I also noticed the headrest in front of me, decked out with an enthrawling touch-screen which allowed me to choose between games, movies or TV for my entertainment pleasure. Cha-ching!
What blew my mind was delicious smell of food wafting up an down the isle. On just a short 90 minute flight they served us a shockingly good breakfast omelet with roasted potatoes, a flaky croissant, and a medley of fresh fruit.
Another international flight putting the U.S. to shame. Before this globetrotting adventure I had no idea what I was missing out on. I simply rolled with the punches I was dealt every time I flew. Sometimes it was a flight delay with no remorse or compensation, sometimes it's a seat that doesn't recline or a sadistic stewardess who gets her kicks from jamming the beverage cart into unsuspecting elbows but every time, it's American. Us airways, Continental, Southwest, United, they all suck. Every time I make an airport trip, I have to undergo some new ludicrous rules. No liquids, no nail files, take off your shoes, take off your belt, laptops off, no cell phones, checked bags are $25, sodas are $5. It's ridiculous. And now that I know better, I know it's trivial and unnecessarily ridiculous!
Pretty soon we won't be able to travel with anything other than clothes which will have to be pre-approved in a bag no bigger than a purse. Any larger bag will cost you more than a car payment. We will all have to endure full body cavity searches to get through security. If we finally do get through security we will be stuffed into individual crates the size of small beagles, to ensure maximum capacity. Maybe, if were lucky, they will set down a small saucer of water in case we get thirsty. That will cost us as well.
I recently read the newspaper article about the Jet Airways Employee who "lost his cool" and quit via intercom before using the emergency exit to slide himself to freedom.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to give his guy a standing ovation. Although a little tact is always nice, you can't blame the guy for finally having enough, and he works for the airlines! At least he can quit! The American airline business is the only business I've heard of where the customer is always wrong. You can't complain to anyone about anything. You have to deal with whatever crap comes your way. If I had any other alternative I would never give them another dime.
Enough with my rant.. I was in Nepal!
We got to our hotel "Elbrus Home" and was immediately greeted by the welcoming manager. Smiling from ear to ear he took our bags and offered us some hot chai. He showed us to our large rooms, complete with a nice big bed, a low table set up for floor seating, a TV, and a bathroom. Inside the bathroom were fresh towels, already hung and ready for use, and a nice big shower curtain! When these are the things that excite you, you have to sit back and laugh.
Normally though, these things don't exist unless I ask for them. I am ushered to my room and I have so ask for soap, TP, and towels. I also have to make sure that the air conditioning and TV are working before the hotel clerk has left or they will probably never work. I've stayed in places where you have to pay extra for towels and I've stayed in places where toilet paper is "not offered". I kid you not. Needless to say this place rocked my world.
The first place we started exploring was Durbar Square which our guidebook described as the "natural area to begin sightseeing". Centered around a royal palace sit a multitude of statues, temples, and monuments. As I began to take pictures of the Nepali architectural style that was so new to me, my camera broke and the world stopped it's orbit. Not again. The lens was retracting like a seizure, convulsing in sporadic bursts. We decided to grab a bite before we went on a search for a camera repair shop, a task we knew could be a great feat. We munched on some savory spicy momos at a cute four-story restaurant overlooking Durbar Square.
After a mission of searching, I found a camera shop and dropped off my baby. We wandered around a bit and got acquainted with the area we'd call home for the next few days. We stopped into a small Chinese restaurant as the rain started coming down, in hopes for some hot Saki. We settled for chowmein and cheap whiskey and I drowned my no-camera sorrows with some Nepalese beer as well.