Running errands – Thamel Kathmandu, Nepal

Today I woke up a bit sore so I decided to treat myself to a spa day. A 2 hour massage, facial, and reflexology for less than $20. Not a bad deal. I prewarned my therapist about my battered body but he was still a mite rough. I took it with a stiff upper lip and told myself it was good for me. Thoroughly kneaded and moisturized, I drank up my tea and paid. I loved that the same dog was laying on the same stair sleeping all three times I passed him over the course of two days. That’s how chilled out the vibe was at Serentity Spa.

I went out in search of a SIM card for my phone so I could make local calls and receive emails. I was a bit startled to learn that prices ranged from 99 to 800 rupees all for the same product. No matter where I purchased it, I needed a passport photo for the application which I don’t have. I gave up my last wallet size snap at the airport for my visa. So I popped into a photo shop a bit off the main drag and the genial old man promised me 6 photos for 80 rupees if I wanted next day delivery. I agreed and jumped in the chair to pose.

There are an abundance of used bookstores around here so I checked how much they would give me for Shantaram. I made mental notes which stores offered the highest and which would let me trade for postcards rather than books. My hand is still really sore from writing 100 postcards with a sprained thumb. I was overly ambitious wanting to thank everyone who helped me publish my book but this month, the number cuts in half. This commitment should be easier to tackle and the end result probably more legible. So when you get your postcard, know that I wrote that sucker with blood sweat and tears. Because you’re worth it. (Imagine a cheezy double thumbs up and exaggerated wink) Ignore the fact that you can’t read it. It’s the thought that counts, right?

I felt a dribble of drool escape the corner of my mouth when I walked past the bakery. I decided I would allow myself one indulgence after 8pm when the sugary rolls of goodness went on sale for half price. I had several hours to decide between mocha swirls, chocolate cashew rolls, apple turnovers, cream filled donuts, cinnamon twists, and coconut braided sweet dough. I am sure I put on ten pounds just thinking about it.

I put off going back to the hotel for as long as possible but finally reluctantly strolled back. I was glad to be leaving the next day when I encountered some shady characters hovering outside some girlie bars. And just like that, my two days in the “big” city were over.

Grateful for half price pastries.

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