Dhando Chaitya stupa

The Dhando Chaitya is considered the oldest stupa (reliquary) in the Kathmandu Valley. Oddly, none of the websites actually say how old it is, but it was said to have been built by the daughter of Emperor Ashoka of India. Despite its status, it sits in the commercial Chabadil neighborhood, far from the tourist sites in Thamel. The gate to the temple grounds was locked, so all I could do was walk around and take photographs of the site and the vendors outside.

First hill run

There is a trail run in Pokhara, a popular tourist destination, in December, so I decided to start training. Unlike Bangkok, Kathmandu offers lots of hilly terrain for training, so I went up into the hills on the recommendation of a fellow runner. My trail would start at the Kopan Monastery and end at a helipad just 2.2 km away. Easy, right? No. I quickly realized that I wasn’t acclimated enough to do hard-core running at 4,600 feet. However, the view was nice. A passing motorcyclist told me I had taken a wrong turn and my road was going nowhere,…

Oh, really?

It’s hard enough to make good on a claim of New York style bagels in, say, Cleveland; it’s a tall order to pull off that trick in Kathmandu. First, as to the appearance. It was bagel-shaped, apart from having a very small hole in the middle. The sesame-seed coverage reminded me more of a Greek koulouri than a New York bagel. Inside—not quite bagel-like. With toast and butter, the outside is a little chewy, like a New York style bagel, and the flavor is pretty good. But is it a New York style bagel? I’m reminded of what my late…


As some of you know, we had to say goodbye to Cooper this past summer. However, I am not bereft of dog. “There are no strangers here; only hands you haven’t yet sniffed.”

First momos

The momo is Nepal’s national dumpling, its version of the gyoza, the knish, the ravioli. And I’ve had my first plateful at a local restaurant. The garnish on top is questionable. Let’s see what happens.

And we’re back

We landed in Kathmandu, Nepal this morning, to start our next posting. Here is the view from the car during the ride from the airport to our house, plus the view from our balcony.

A little more from Paramount Studios

One highlight of the Paramount Studios tour is the Paramount Studios backlot. The backlot recreates a number of generic city neighborhoods that have been used in movies and television shows. If you’ve flown on United Airlines recently, you’ve seen some of the backlot in the airplane safety video: We also visited the (physical) film and video library, which staff were digitizing. The organization of the collection seemed a little haphazard—one shelf contained, in order, “Top Gun”, “Paranormal Activity 2”, “Iron Man 2”, “The Perfect Score,” “Ghost”, “Hotel for Dogs”, “School of Rock”, and so on—but overall, the visit felt like…

Paramount Studios

So, you’re walking down an unexceptional street in Los Angeles. Fast food, cars, some nondescript houses and buildings, and a curious-looking character or two. However, the view of the Hollywood sign and the large white trucks might give you a clue as to what’s nearby … as might the globe atop the building or the small but familiar logo on one of those nondescript buildings. Welcome to Paramount Studios! While we waited for the tour to begin, we enjoyed some history, including costumes designed by Edith Head, famous props, and (not shown) clips from famous Paramount films and television programs….