Tag Archives: Nepal

Monkey Temple

When I think of visiting major tourist sites, especially UN World Heritage Sites, I picture visiting a place that’s very old and no longer in use other than tourism (whether that’s locals visiting to learn about their own history, or foreign visitors). Its about the past.The temples in Kathmandu are old, but they’re still very much in current use. It was Saturday, so the temples were full of people who had come to pray or otherwise pay homage to the sites.

The first temple we visited was full of sacred monkeys who seemed to live very well on the fruit and crackers people brought them. Some of the stories say that they became domesticated when the hippies started feeding them in the 60s. But there is also an story that they are descended from the lice of a holy man who lived at the site in the olden times.

If you have any wishes, you throw a coin in here and try to get it in the pot. I missed.

The monkeys mostly ignored people unless they had food. They would take your snacks, or you could just hand them over. They also would try to take them from each other.

Where there are snacks, there are also dogs hoping to get in on the action.



Yesterday was our first day in Nepal. It was mostly a day to recover from the long flights and 13 hour time change, but we did walk around a bit and explore the area near our hotel.

One thing about being in a new place is that your competence regresses. You’re used to being an adult, but suddenly there are a lot of basics that you just don’t know how to do.

So yesterday was our day of toddlerhood.

For example, we needed to learn how to walk down the street. In Nepal, they drive on the left. We figured out that also means that people walk on the left too.

Our hotel is in the super touristy Thamel area of town, so the streets right around here are filled with tourists and people trying to sell you stuff.

We ventured out to a garden a few blocks away from the main tourist section. The streets are very narrow, so you are always passing somebody, and usually also being passed by cars and mopeds.

So, we were trying to apply the “pass on the left” rule. But as tourists, people would expect us to get it wrong, so there was this sort of double fake out as we all had to guess how to walk past each other. We were as bad to walk past on a sidewalk as toddlers. But we were paying attention and learning.

Eventually we realized that the pass on the left rule isn’t very solid, it’s just the default. But of course people don’t walk down the street thinking about how to walk past people. We do that automatically. Except when we travel, then we have to learn it again.

Our other adventures involved learning how to eat, use money, use the bathroom, and even knowing how to find the right floor on the elevator (the ground floor is floor 0 here). So it really was a day of developing basic childhood competence.