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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Diagon Alley

My assignment was to write about the tailor's shop where Jason, Jenna, Jane, Sherrie and I went to see the frame for the painting being sewn. First step was the rickshaw ride - me and Jason in one, Jenna, Jane and Sherrie in one, and Tsampa and the tailor in the third, at what amounts to Kathmandu Rush Hour. Like Reba says, there are no words to really describe what it is like. A phrase has popped into my head for everything I see.... "Everything is a picture." It's hard to decide where to point the camera because, like Jane's art, the detail, the color and the beauty are both small and large all at the same time.
Anyway - the rickshaws got into a gridlock at Duhrbur Square, a spot famous for hippie dropouts who've been known to hang out on the steps of a big pagoda temple there. We stepped out and walked through such a throng that there was hardly room to step between the stalled motorcycles, rickshaws, bicycles, taxis and pedestrians, but we fond our way through the crowd and wound up in a maze of tiny streets and alleyways where parents bathed crying beautiful kids on doorsteps, chickens wandered, motorcycles flew by beeping the horn. Following our host we stepped into a magical courtyard, surrounded by beautiful children looking out over their balcony and a craftsman making a door by hand on the ground. Up some stairs past a maniacally barking dog and into the tailor's house/apartment/workroom we went. The bed was next to the sewing machine, and we had beautiful natural light through the shuttered window as Tsampa, Jane, the tailor and the thangka shop owner discussed the border for the painting, and the tailor got to work on some small parts.
When we left the dog was still barking and life was going on a million ways all around us. We opted to walk back to the Kathmandu Guest House, which was faster than riding, and easier on the kidneys.
This morning we went back to the thangka shop and the frame was unveiled. Wait until you see the pictures. Amazing.
We all love and miss all of you. Excuse us when we come back and you ask us "how was your trip" and we just start to babble. You've just got to come see for yourself.
T.
p.s. I'm trying to post some pictures, but no luck yet. There is construction going on around me in the internet store and it is pretty crazy, so I can't guarantee we'llb e able to get any pics up today.
Love to all,
T.

3 comments:

Garland said...

Thanks, Tom. Amazing what the first mode of transportation can do. I've seen thick Chicago traffic where walking was faster. gives new meaning to "fleet of foot." Garland

beth macy said...

Hey there, great description of Diagon Alley. And great talking to you on the phone today. We were just arriving in Roanoke when you called, and I said to Max, "We are talking to Daddy in our car, and he is halfway around the world," while we were in front of Hardee's (the Waving Guy intersection at Peters Creek). Weird.

Glad everything's going so well.
Tell Jane the Pain that she's waaaay behind in her blogging. Really enjoying everyone's posts, and as you can tell: we're all checking all the time.

The two weeks when you're in Jomsom away from phones/computers will be hard, all the not knowing. But we know you'll be safe and having a great time. Take good travel journal notes so you won't forget a thing!!! Tom, your beard is looking good.

Will wants to call Mary RIGHT NOW about having her over tomorrow, his birthday. Tell Reba we'll be thinking about her a lot!!!
xoxoxo bethwell

Anonymous said...

Tom,
Guess your kids have no chance but to become writers? I'd say they're predisposed that way...great job!
Whenever you get a moment, you need to prod Sherrie, Jason and Diane about THEIR assignments.
Carl
PS to Reba: the bridge is OPEN!