October 22, 2018
I spent the day running errands and was amazed that it only took a few hours to get reasonably comfortable in this totally unfamiliar culture and circumstance. Everything is very fast here. Cars and motorbikes zip and swerve and honk all over town, often narrowly missing pedestrians and each other. You have to be decisive to cross a street or even make progress in a line. Seems to be standard fair in this part of the world. Locals hassle me frequently because I'm so obviously a foreigner. They were trying to lure me into shops and onto rickshaws. I was solicited for everything from trekking gear to local goods to produce to taxis to hashish. Anytime I made eye contact, and sometimes when I didn't, I became a target. It seems appropriate to simply mumble no or to wave folks off with a head shake. I'm still working out the details, but I think I'm getting it.
I made a few purchases today, most notably an extra down layer and a series of meds. I picked up Diamox to manage altitude illness if it becomes an issue, a few different antibiotics just in case, and about a hundred tabs of water purification. All of that for around $10 USD on Chhetrapati. Gear and goods seem so cheap here compared to the states, probably because they're mostly knock-offs or previous iterations. Bartering is a major aspect of the culture here, and I wasn't very good at it today but will have many opportunities to get more comfortable with it before I leave. Christmas is coming up, and I've seen some really cool local goods.
Went ahead and booked a jeep ride to the Himalaya foothills for tomorrow morning. They'll pick me up right at my hostel and get me higher into the mountains than the cheaper bus ride. If I make good time on the Three Passes, then I'll probably walk all the way out to Jiri and take a bus back to Kathmandu at the end. I think it would be cool to experience it, although I'm told it'll be quite the uncomfortable ride that could last upwards of 12 hours. The jeep ride tomorrow should be faster, more like nine, even though it goes further. Been a lot of sitting recently, so I'm exciting to start finally walking the day after tomorrow!