Few hours of walking inside the touristy district of Thamel is more than enough to let you know everything you need to know- where are the restaurants, the money changers, and obviously the tour operators that somehow will make you believe that you can climb Mt. Everest if you book with them. It can be tiring at times and crowded as expected, so I ventured step by step away from Thamel.
I cannot pinpoint exactly the name of this area, it is a maze like street you need to pass by on the way to Durbar Square.
The doors and windows painted with neon colors, the tea shops, the Coca-cola advertisement plastered everywhere including the kids running around wearing equally colorful clothes offers such a beautiful contrast to the predominant brick walled houses.
Above all the façade, these streets offer a glimpse to the daily city life of the locals. It is an unmasked version of Thamel, here every turn leads to a fascinating encounter, even the smallest passageway is so inviting to enter.
Adding to my over-all attraction with this very streets is purely simple- it allows me to appreciate more than anything how warm and welcoming Nepalese are. Never once did I feel threaten when taking pictures or unsafe to explore and enter those small alleyways, and often times I am greeted by a warm “Namaste”.
With kids, our conversation often starts with a guessing game. They often blurted out their guess on country which they think I came from, after five guesses or so they began to wonder why they never ever get it right. I finally told them that I am from the Philippines, they will scratch their head and wonder if such place exists.
I literally has to stand in one spot for two reason- first I am confused where to go, secondly I don’t know how I will manage to cross the street with all the vendors, motorbikes and rickshaw crossing the street in no particular direction.
With everything happening in front of me, it feels like my camera is not enough to capture the action, so, I settled on sitting in one corner together with the local men, turn off my camera and ponder on the organized chaos taking place in front of me.