Kathmandu, Nepal
8:30 P.M. local time (10:45 A.M EDT)

Well, we made it. Mike and I landed at 12:30 P.M. local time (2:45 A.M. EDT). After more than 36 hours in the air and standing in lines in airports, we’re finally here. But before we got to Kathmandu, we had to leave Bangkok. With a 12-hour layover in Bangkok, we had reservations at the Amari. The Amari is a nice enough place—clean, with beds (which, after only dozing on and off for over a day, sure did sound inviting). Unfortunately, nothing ever works out as planned.

First, it took longer to get through customs than we thought. Then, when our passports were finally stamped, we had to make our way to the hotel itself. Thankfully, it was just across a pedway—only about a five-minute stroll.

So there we were, the walking dead lurching towards the hotel, when it happened.

Not yet in Bangkok an hour, I was asked if I wanted a “massage.” The gentleman even held out a postcard with the supposed masseuse’s picture right there smiling her best, well, her best smile. Think my boss will sign off on this expense? I mean, come on. Over a day on the plane. Don’t you think that two exemplary employees deserve a little legitimate massage therapy? No? I agree. That’s what I told Mike, too. Just kidding.

But we made it. We’re here in Kathmandu. And let me tell you something. This place is wild. The streets are like alleys. Everywhere we look we see taxies and bikes and motorcycles and people and cows—yes, there is a large Hindu population, for whom cows are sacred; therefore, there are cows competing with the fast moving traffic for road space. Well, actually, they don’t compete for space. More often than, they just lie down in the road, and the traffic flows around them. Our ride from the airport was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Think of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride on steroids, and then throw in some Stephen King. But I digress.

We made it to our hotel and are now preparing ourselves for a late dinner in town. Dinner is another matter altogether. The food isn’t bad at all. For lunch I had a chicken and mushroom pie thing, and it was terrific. The problem is, my Celtic blood starts to boil—literally—when you start adding exotic hot spices. But that’s okay, I’ll just be wearing a hat more often while I’m here.

Which we are. Here, that is. And speaking of food, I’m hungry. Time to take our lives into our hands and head out into town.

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David Bard has been a fixture at TechRepublic for some time now. At one time he was editor-in-chief of LinuxRepublic and then AdminRepublic. Currently, he occupies space as an editor-in-chief with TechProGuild. In addition, he’s a freelance writer who has covered extreme sports for years. He also is a writer of horror and—contrary to what his climbing partner may think—is hoping the expedition to Nepal doesn’t provide fodder for his next story. When he’s not at home teaching his year-and-a-half-old daughter why it’s not a good idea to eat rocks, or trying to convince his wife why yet another expedition really is necessary, he’s usually off in some remote section of woods trying to discover himself. He’s still looking.