Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life Before the Internet

Yes, I remember it well.

Breakfast at 7:00. Hang around till 8:00 or so. Start trek. First out from my room across the field entering the monastery from the back and on the third floor. Descend. Walk though entrance hall, out front door and through imposing but welcoming entrance gate.

Down the hill, wait for goats, or walk through same.

Out to road with some walking space and some open sewers. Cars, motorbikes, buses speed by. Walk up hill toward Tibetan Refugee Camp where there is a cyber store. Ascend extremely steep and narrow, no railing stone steps. Cyber shop very old, very dusty but one can connect to the US on phone for 6 NR (Nepali Rupees) a minute; about 7.5 cents a minute. Poorly lit booth, hard to see but call goes through to home.

Internet connection, not sure of fee, but extremely old computer, small screen and squeaky keyboard. But I can get to my email. Responding is something else all together because as mentioned the keyboard needs a few cycles in the dishwasher. Nice chat with the young man that runs the place and always I inquire about tomorrow's hours. (Not that it helps much; the Nepali word for tomorrow translates into sometime after the day after tomorrow. ???

One day while waiting for the cyber cafĂ© guy I get shanghaied into purchasing a Tibetan Rug; NOT CHEAP. But I rationalize that I need one for stretching and also sitting outside in the sun on my "patio". (More on patio later) Another day while waiting I wander up the street and find Tibetan spiritual items shop. Shopkeeper is a young Tibetan girl; her English is passable. I check out the merchandise and buy some incense – Potala, a brand which I can and often do purchase in the Village. (Greenwich Village NYC) She keeps busy sewing prayer flags in the shop while waiting for customers. A family comes in to buy some fabric for a kata scarf. I wander back to connect to the world - maybe.


  1. I would like to see more pictures of the refugee camp and the journey to the destination, but i know that resizing and uploading isn't as simple there as it is here.

    here is a free program:

  2. Thank you! Very interesting story.
    Yes, Tibetan rugs are not cheap, but they worth it. Actually, in Katmandu you can buy rugs not much worse.