Monday, April 29, 2013

Monks, monks and more monks

Oh, to be back in the Tibetan plateau..... soon, in a few months, I'm headed back.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Homegrown swedes

What do you do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when your TV does not work. (mine broke down 4 months ago and I'm still in the process of replacing it)? I read and I watch videos on Youtube. Here's a sweet video from Youtube.

Back to China

Even before my Turkish trip hasn't taken place yet, I'm already booked for my trip back to China. The flights are filling up fast so I have to move fast. This is the world we live in now. While some in the world are so impoverished, others are jetting everywhere. The flights in the Asian quarter of the world are always filling up fast. Asians, by and large, are harder working people and are savers and therefore more mobile. I can't wait to mingle with Tibetans again.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In the quest of more ruined churches

I leave in a week for Turkey in the quest of more ruined churches. Can't wait.

Friday, April 26, 2013

you can't take with you II

Another body being carried to Pashupatinath temple for open cremation. I saw a few corpses that day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

You can't take it with you

In both the Hindu and Buddhist religion, they believe in nirwana, in doing good in this life in order to gain enough merits to receive nirwana.When your dead body is reduced to ashes and even the amount of wood sufficient to do the job can be measured to the last inch, it puts another perspective into what's the meaning of life. So what are we here for? Ecclesiastes says, ' fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.'

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kathmandu on a Sunday

Not for the faint hearted. it was a good thing I was there in the Winter. I can't imagine what's it like when its hot. The place is choked with people and vehicles of every kind. There are fascinating little temples at every corner but it was impossible to get here them. One guy said he'll be my guide but he had a caveat, 'not today, not on a Sunday.'

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Buddhas

 At one level in Swamyambunath (monkey temple) there was a series of buddhas, all in different poses and very interesting.

I thought they would make great subjects for my water colors. It's been months and I've not painted a single stroke. Work has consumed all my time.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More memories

 Durbar square, Kathmandu
 Durbar square, Kathmandu
 Temples at every corner in Kathmandu
 Newari architecture

 The ultra busy tourist area of Thamel in Kathmandu
 Newari food.
 Quirky means of transportation.
Roads choked with cars, cows and people. These are the fond memories of Nepal. I didn't know why I even decide to visit Nepal, I'm glad I did and I know I will return. It's incredible value for money. The trekking is great even though I have yet to experience it. I remember the condescension of the clerk at the Cathay Pacific counter in Los Angeles.... Ms Chung, you are checked all the way to KATHMANDU.... KATHMANDU this.... KATHMANDU that.... where the heck is Kathmandu, no one is going there... we civilised people go to Hong Kong.... If only he knew because I know of this wonderful place called Nepal.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Everest museum

This was the closest I got to Mt Everest and the Annapurna range, all peaks are over 8,000 meters. I thought at first when the suggestion was made to visit this museum, 'what could be interesting here?' It was interesting, it detailed all the successful attempts to summit on Mt Everest, the gear they took with them. It's changed over the years, from the early rudimentary days to the more sophisticated modern climbing gear. It detailed the various Nationalities of the successful climbers, the South Koreans dominated the field. I've watched Everest climbers on Youtube and its fascinating. Now more and more people are summiting Mt Everest. To get to Everest Base camp, one flies from Kathmandu to Lukla and then trek (for days) to Everest Base camp. Everest Base camp can also be accessed from Tibet, one just drives there, there is a road leading right up to Everest Base camp on the China side.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Disposable society?

They don't use disposable plates. These big leaves are woven into a plate and sold to street food vendors who then use them to serve street food. Here I've just bought a plate of momos from a street vendor in Kathmandu.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A hero

A Stray Hero from Hisyam on Vimeo.

A great video of a rescuer of stray dogs in Malaysia, its in Malay but has English subtitles.

More stupas

Stupas or chortens are usually made with the ashes of holy monks and this is probably why there are so many of them all over the mountain.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The faithful

I've seen temples in the East, crowded with worshippers. In China, the joss sticks burn all through the day. Here, to, at Swamyambunath, the butter lamps  burn non stop. Here, the faithful, especially the women, care crouched at this little temple asking the blessings from a lama. There was a throng of people coming and going. I'm glad to see people still needing to hear from their god.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


The whole mountain is filled with statues of Buddha. This is just a sample of them. Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal to a princely family. The long ears meant he wore jewellry, probably heavy gold earrings and that he belonged to a rich family. He rennounces everything and found nirvana in Bod Gaya, India, just across the border.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Swayambunath

 While it is a Buddhist temple complex, it seems to attract Hindu adherents. So here one finds a mixture of Nepalis worshipping together. Temple worship is an important aspect of Nepali life.

 Here is found a mixture of architectural styles, mostly of the Newari kind..

While it is called the monkey temple, there wasn't many monkeys around and I was glad.