Jim Phelps’ travel log: Happy Nepalese New Year—party like it’s 2063!

Editor’s note: The following is a travel log submitted by Jim Phelps, owner of Phoenix Traders fair-trade store at 215 7th St. Phelps is traveling through India and Nepal, and will be sending updates about his different experiences along the way. This is the fourth entry in his travel log.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

“By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.”—Confucius

Tonight is a rip-roaring tribute to Bacchus. The hash and X are flowing, and the ravers are a raving.

It is the night after the start of Passover. The Israelis, God bless them, gave yesterday its due. But tonight, they are back for blood.

This is as it should be. Man, in his infinite and varied forms, making a complete idiot of himself in a tortured land. Somewhere, Satan is having a good laugh. Question is, how long can the good times last? Last I checked, they had machine pistols, rubber bullets and tear gas. I have to wait up to see!

“All Men are created equal…”—Thomas Jefferson, from the Declaration of Independence

The Kathmandu Post, April 13, 2006, page 1: “The U.S. mission to Kathmandu, in order to scale back its activities—including at the Embassy, USAID, and the consular section and the American Center at the YAK & Yeti Hotel—has gone to minimal staffing, a statement by the American Center sand her Wednesday.

“Meanwhile, the U.S. Mission canceled a planned visit Wednesday by an eight-member delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives ‘due to ongoing violence, curfews, and widespread insecurity to Nepal.’

“The delegation led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), wanted to visit Kathmandu Wednesday to Friday to review developments here and meet with representatives of the new government, political parties and civil society.”

Dennis, you can bunk with me at the Happy Home. I got an extra rack for ya’. We can go out and rave the night away. Or, if the Grateful Dead is more your style, there is a live cover band at the Funky Buddha. Your choice, dude. Just trying to be a good citizen and all.

OK, I just blew my chances of being a major player in the Republican Party “Animal House.”

“Some Animals are more equal than others…”—Animal House, by George Orwell

The Himalayan Times, Wednesday, April 12, 2006, page 2: “9 Tourists held freed Kathmandu: Police arrest nine tourists from Narshingha Chowk of Thamal on Tuesday afternoon while they were demonstrating for peace in Nepal and demanding the lifting of curfew. Police arrested the tourists because they violated curfew orders. All the tourist were freed from the Sohrakhutte ward police station at around 8:30 p.m.”

Yeah, my friends, the Germans! Can’t feel “German Pride” at home so we practice it abroad. As Red from That 70s Show would say—“Dumb asses.” I will put it in German for our German readership—“Penners.”

So tonight, it is a show of nerves. The official curfew begins at 11 p.m., and runs to 3 a.m. Definitely will put a crimp in the party style. But the locals are not counting on the hoards of tourists in Thamel who truly want to party after seven days and nights of curfews, strikes and other indignities.

Someone better remind them the average Israeli “tourist” is better trained in kicking butt than all the police and soldiers in Nepal. Passover or not, it could get exciting. My guess is the local constabulary will wimp out.

Dennis, you are welcome to hang with Brother “JimBob” from Delta House. I’ll watch over you like a little brother, and you can have all the beer from the beer bong you like.

Jim Phelps is owner of Phoenix Traders fair-trade store at 215 7th St.

From the April 26-May 2, 2006, issue

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