May 25:  Chitwan National Park to Pokhara

Up 7am.

In the bathroom I saw this gecko on the ceiling, and then he moved to the window.  He might have been the one I saw on the bed 2 days ago.  He was trying to eat a mosquito and got close, but then the mosquito hopped farther away.  I even killed the mosquito for him, and then an ant, and deposited them near him, but he didn't know what I was doing.

We left the resort at 8:45am.

We stopped at this photo stop to observe scenery.

Scenery being observed.

I hate not being able to geographically pinpoint my photos.  I just know this was somewhere outside Chitwan on the way to Pokhara.


For lunch we stopped at the Green Park Highway Restaurant.  I had a chicken burger with spices mixed in.  Not bad.  And a beer.  The lunchtime conversation made me realize that a lot of people have jobs that they love and always wanted to do.  I need to put some thought to this when I get back.

A thought that crystallized on the bus:  The irritating thing about all the people in both countries (less so in Nepal) coming up to us and selling stuff is that it's stuff we could not reasonably be expected to want.  Why do they tout the low price, or lower it further after they don't get eye contact from me, when it has zero value?  Maybe it's like spam.  If just one person in a million responds, then it pays off.  But these kids aren't using numbers to their advantage.  If I don't make eye contact, you should quickly find another tourist to harass, instead of following around the one person who you know already know beyond a shadow of a doubt isn't buying you junk.  This isn't a cultural difference; it's just horrible business sense.  A transaction is initiated by and dependent on the buyer's interest before even seeing the merchandise.  Impulse purchases happen, but that's not a business model.  If I wanted it, I'd be coming to you.  It's called a shopping list.  The same goes for Girl Scout cookies.  If I get a hankering for cookies, I'll plan in advance to buy them inside the store next time I go, and not outside for triple the price.  As I've said on stage (though never as well as the first time, when Eric Somers said it was my funniest joke ever), the Girl Scouts organization should encourage these girls to develop a better business sense by selling their soiled panties to Japanese guys on in Internet, because that's a product with solid preexisting demand.  And 95% of them will ultimately earn a living off their crotch anyway, so they might as well get used to the real world.

And what's the deal with tuk-tuks?  If you're a tuk-tuk driver, and you see a group of 14 people with backpacks who are obviously tourists, and they're obviously not looking around for tuk-tuks, and they're giving you no indication that they're finished sightseeing or shopping or ambulating for the day, and you know that ambulating tourists are almost always doing it as a means of exploring their location, rather than getting from point A to point B, and you yell "tuk-tuk?" to one of the tourists at the back of the group thinking that person will leave the others for a ride with no destination, or will convince the rest of the group to stop walking and abandon whatever they're in the middle of and take a ride back to the hotel, then you're out of your fucking mind and should kill yourself.

We arrived at the Hotel Meera at 2:45pm.  After 4 days of no Internet, I went to an Internet cafe down the street from 3:05pm to 3:50pm.  The Idol performance finale was last night.  Reportedly the judges liked Lauren, but was forecasting Scotty as the winner.  That site hasn't been very accurate this year.  I saw that LAPD caught the alleged Dodger Stadium attacker.  Nice.  He and anyone within 6 degrees of separation from him should be incinerated.  Like when you remove cancerous tissue and cut out some healthy tissue around it as well, just to be sure.  And like what Keyser Soze did.  It would probably be a net benefit to society.  Now if the Dodgers can grow a pair and start banning people with shaved heads, facial hair and visible tattoos (but not like Megan's shamrock, because that was cool), Dodger Stadium might once again become a cheerful place where baseball fans can gather to watch a game, as the other 29 ballparks have been for some time.

The hotel had a "load shedding" schedule posted.  Nepal being backward has power problems (remember the frequent outages in Chitwan) so in some locations it's rationed in a staggered schedule.  The hotel had a generator for the offline periods, but power from that was limited to essentials, and I think air conditioners were plugged into the nonessential circuit.  I could never figure out the air conditioner here.  I thought it shut off during the load shed, but then I couldn't turn it back on, but then sometimes it would come back on by itself.

We walked to the lake (Fewa Tal) and most of us went for boat rides.  It was an extra Rs 50 to hire a rower, which 4 of us in one boat did.  Everybody else rowed themselves.


I thought I'd taken too many repetitive photos of rowing here, but a bunch of people tagged themselves on Facebook, so I guess they like the pics.

I don't think the boats are far apart here, but I don't remember one being 4 times the size of the other.

This is where Jamie went nuts and rowed to the north, out of sight.  They were presumed lost at sea.

We stopped at a small island in the middle of the lake and walked around a bit.  This is Varahi Mandir.  Too many pigeons here.  Short visit.

Continuing to the west shore of the lake.  We skirted but didn't get off on the other side.

View to the south, I think.

To the left of here I saw an empty boat and figured it was Jamie's.  What unspeakable sadness!  Who foresaw that this picturesque lake would become a watery tomb for 4 of our fellow travellers, so full of life?  Also, FrontPage, fuck off with your autocorrect of "travellers".

The surviving boat.

The girls are in fact posing here.  It's supposed to be like an album cover where the band members are all gazing askewly to seem cool.

Oh, there's Jamie's boat.  Reminded me of this.  You'll note that he's been replaced as coxswain.  I would like to have been fly in the ointment for that conversation.

Why did I keep this one?

Jamie's head is down, Janie appears to be consoling him, Megan looks bitter, Abdulla looks like something uncomfortable happened.  Ha!

The boat ride was 4:30pm-5:30pm.  Afterward most of the group walked up & down the main street shopping and looking for a whitewater rafting operator.  I had no interest in rafting because I'd done it on a few prior trips, and enough is enough.  I think 6 people want to do it, but the only decent option left too early and would conflict with the scheduled hike tomorrow morning.

Pokhara had the most white people of any town on this tour.  I guess it's a base for outdoor activities among travellers.  I was disappointed, though, that so many of the white girls were wearing Ali Baba pants.  It made it difficult for me to assess their asses.  As you know, I'm an ass man.  (That's where I should have linked to the Mr. Ass video, instead of on the other page.  So instead I'm giving you a different video from the Attitude Era.  We were watching a bunch of these one late night in Clearwater in March.  Hot dogs and a bathtub bowtie blowjob.  Brilliant stuff.)  Also I saw a local guy wearing an Edge shirt.

Back to the hotel 7pm, then dinner at Moondance (recommended by Lonely Planet).  I had chicken pad thai, which I remembered Mike Montijo ordering a lot when we worked swing shift, and a Long Island that was mostly Coke, and then a Ghorka beer.  I barely remember this meal.

Bed 10pm.  Sunrise visit to Sarangkot and then a hike down the mountain tomorrow.