Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Well if there isn't a time to get superstitious and pray to some sort of god, then i better get started. Firstly, Indra the god of thunder and rain is quite busy with his monsoon. The monsoon is a bit of downer because with it, it brings extreme heat (hotter than the Amazon rain forest) and crazy, drenching rains which usually only happen in the evening, today was the exception. The monsoon also makes trekking difficult, with slippery trails and clouded in valleys. Those beautiful vistas i have seen so many photos of are all hidden from me right now. I now understand why people don't travel during this time.
Secondly, a 6.9 earthquake! The biggest in 78 years according to the local paper. The fault line that brought this region the stunning Himalayas is still jamming itself higher and higher. Earthquakes are not to shocking to me coming from Vancouver and living on the San Adreas fault line. This was a good rattler though. The fear with earthquakes here is that nothing is built to code. Earthquake proof buildings don't exist. I was luckily only under a sheet metal roof enjoying the company of a fellow couch surfer who is here hanging out writing a book. Other people i met who where in Kathmandu told me that they where inside the hotel and when the earth started moving all the employees ran outside. There is no 'duck and cover' here, it's RUN! Collapsing buildings and mudslides are what resulted in 60+ deaths across India, Nepal, and Tibet so far. There is no earthquake preparedness which is complained about heavily in the newspapers.
Thirdly, a scooter crash! Thanks to the monsoon rains and the one day i decide to rent a scooter and go out the Bengas Tal, a less touristy, beautiful lake. I picked up the scooter which looked like a hunk of junk, which thank god it was because after i crashed it, it barely looked any different. Almost dying a few times at the hands of other Nepali drivers on the road, and random dogs haphazardly running into the street. The slick street was no match for me with a deaf man who didn't hear my horn and didn't move. Luckily i wasn't going to fast but my bald tires, and locked breaks where a combination for disaster, if the road was dry i would have been able to stop in time. Off i slid, luckily not badly at all. As soon as i hit the ground i had about 25 people picking up the scooter, helping me up, women brushing off my pants, checking my hands. Meanwhile the deaf man was still walking in the middle of the road and was oblivious and i was warned to avoid him. Police were there in 30 seconds to help me and take me to the local hospital which wasn't necessary. My right arm and thumb feel a little wonky but i am sure i will shake it off. A nice scratch along my leg but nothing really that bad. Good luck or bad luck? Who's to say. Good luck for it not being worse. Bad luck for bailing. My track record for scooters is actually pretty bad so i think i will stick to walking, biking, and buses.