I spent the majority of New Years Eve wandering about Lazimpat trying to find SIM cards, find a place to live and not choke on the dust.
I got enjoyably lost, found the SIM cards (for 500 NPR each and later realised that they said maximum retail price 99 NPR on the front – must learn Nepalese numbers soon) and failed to gain access to the British embassy. I did, however, find a shop selling tuna light lunches, tins of ice coffee, Special K and soya milk, in case we yearn for revision/writing up food at any point. So not a total failure.
In the evening we walked back into Thamel to try and find dinner and somewhere to celebrate New Year, however the streets were thronged with roaming groups of shouting men and the occasional scantily clad lady (for Nepal), so we ducked into the Farmer’s Bar for dinner, after some bustly searching during which i asserted that i knew the way four or five times and was wrong in every instance. We tried the streets again afterwards and nothing had improved, so it was decided that maybe there were some less intense celebrations occurring down near Durbar Square. upon arrival, we found these revellers.
They didn’t seem keen for us to join their party, so we ended up back in Thamel at New Orleans wine bar. There was a chap on the microphone desperately trying to coax the customers into dancing. Nobody took him up on this, it was too cold to do much beyond sit near the fire (or really passionately snog in the back row, as one couple chose to do). We steeled ourselves for mayhem as we headed once more to the streets for the actual moment, and were greeted with…a party popper. Literally a glittery party popper and some yelling from the crowd.
After a failed search for the best Brian Adams cover band (or, as the bars would have it, “live rock music”), our New Year’s Eve ended with us finding the amusingly named bar at the hotel closed upon our return. Or so we thought – as we were going back to our room, the snoggers from New Orleans turned up, also looking to go to the bar. Finding it closed, we were promptly invited to their room for a drink – “we have a suite!”, they claimed. Having thought it through and decided that we probably weren’t being invited to a sex festival, we changed (I got something on my shoes and leg which I would like to think was a tomato, but actually I think it may have just been a tomatoey bit of someone else’s meal) and went to join them.
They are a couple working in Bangladesh for DFID and USAID, from Pakistan and the US respectively, and they had copious amounts of gin and whisky which they were very keen to share. The Pakistani chap had a lot to say about Kathmandu and the lack of development here as compared to other South Asian countries. A lot to say about a lot of things actually – they were really fun and interesting, and hanging out with them was definitely a good way to start 2013. Come morning, however, it turns out that the gin and whisky were not.