Kathmandu reminds me of the Philippines in the 1970s. I lived there for just over a year when I was a newlywed.
Like Manila, Katmandu is large, crowded, dusty, and busy with noisy traffic. Vendors with wares spread out on the sidewalks and small shops line the streets.
In Kathmandu, mangy dogs and an occasional cow walk along the side of the road while pedestrians and vehicles ignore them. Poles are piled with tangled power lines that stream from every building in massive disarray.
Through narrow passageways, mobs of people move past merchants who are hawking their wares in front of their stores or primitive stands. People congregate around elaborately decorated and colorful shrines that honor their Hindu and Buddhist gods.
I’m loving this tour. Our leader likes to find “discovery moments” while showing visitors the sites. Lucky for us, our first time in town was on an “auspicious day” for those of the Buddhist faith. It was a blessed day for weddings. We stumbled across friends decorating cars for an event later in the day; then, we witnessed an actual marriage ceremony. They even invited us to participate!