I enjoyed my day roaming the streets of Kathmandu and especially Thamel, the area best known by tourists and visitors. It really is almost impossible to describe until you have actually been here. Thamel is a maze of crowded narrow streets lined with tiny shops selling used climbing gear, fake climbing gear, Tibetan carpets, travel agencies, small hotels, restaurants, internet cafes, art stores, etc. You are constantly being approached by the store keepers to "come and have a look". The streets are dirty, car horns are continually blaring, and you need to be constantly vigilant to avoid being hit by a car, motorcycle, rickshaw or bicycle.
There are kids playing, guys wandering around on the side of the road trying to sell you trinkets from a bag they are carrying, people hanging out chatting or reading the paper, generators running continuously because of frequent power outages and just general, complete chaos. However you quickly get plugged into the rhythm and it all seems quite reasonable. It is fun and exciting and so completely different from life in America and you truly feel like you are in an adventure.
I went to a restaurant I enjoyed last time I was here called the Roadhouse Cafe and had a tandoori chicken pizza. It wasn't as good as I remembered, but still fun.
Our group has people from the US, Canada, South Africa, Greece, Taiwan, Singapore and I know I am forgetting one more country. We leave at 5 tomorrow morning for Lukla and then a leisurely three hour walk to Phakding, our first stop. The following day (Friday) we walk to Namche Bazaar, and climb the infamous Namche Hill, about a 2,500 non-stop climb that claims a lot of people who didn't get into shape before they came to Nepal. Don't forget that the time in Nepal is 10 hours and 45 minutes later than central time in the US.