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…

Dogs

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.

Wat Muang – a big Buddha and another Hell garden

In August, I went with a friend to Ang Thong, a province about 100 km north of Bangkok. The province is known for its temples. Most notable is Wat Muang, site of the largest sitting Buddha figure in Thailand—84 meters tall, sitting atop an eight-meter high pedestal. To give another sense of perspective: the statue is enormous. There is a mirrored sanctuary hall with wax figures of the deceased chief monk and his acolytes. Wat Muang also has a Hell garden—a warning to immoral visitors of what will happen to them in the afterlife. The kids don’t seem too worried;…

A bike tour in Vietnam – day 6

After the visit to the My Lai Massacre Museum, the visit to the Heroic Mother Statue was a more uplifting exposure to the Vietnamese experience of the war. The statue and accompanying museum opened in 2015 to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the war. It honors Nguyen Thi Thu, whose 11 children and grandchildren all died fighting against the U.S., as well as the other “heroic mothers” of the war who fought in the war or otherwise contributed to the Vietnamese effort.