Friday 23rd February
I arrived in Kathmandu yesterday lunchtime after a 24 hour and three flight journey from Haipi, India. The length of the journey was largely the result of trying to economise on the flights which meant an overnight layover in Delhi airport.
I don’t think I have mentioned the immigration experience in India – an eVisa from London gets converted into a stamp in the passport at point of entry. There is an added layer on entering Manipur state as it has historically been a protected and restricted area. Muriel and I were ushered in front of a man sitting at a desk at a desk who asked all sort of questions – including my father’s name. He had interviewed Muriel first and was obviously confused by the fact that Muriel and I were not husband and wife and that Kai comes from Haipi. The man wasn’t happy about why we were in his state. The way out seemed to be to phone Kai who was outside the airport waiting for us. This would have been OK, had Kai and the man been able to understand each other as both seemed to be saying “Hello? Hello?” very loudly. The situation was resolved when Muriel offered the man to come outside and see Kai for himself. This he did and we were waved on our way with the closest the immigration officer could offer by way of a cheery smile.
Entering Nepal was sort of easier, although they love a bit of red tape.
Stage 1) Download form at home from Nepal Embassy website and fill in details of visit and provide a passport photo.
Stage 2) On arrival at Kathmandu fill in a demarcation form from first desk.
Stage 3) Queue up and pay $25 for visa at kiosk.
Stage 4) Queue up at immigration desk and hand in demarcation form, receipt and downloaded form and get visa stamp on passport.
Debbie was waiting for me outside the airport and took me back to their lovely house in the suburbs.
Today we went sightseeing, more of which next time.
** Animal Update **
Serious monkey action today. They were all over the place and the holy men were carrying sticks to ward the monkeys off from eating food offered to idols. I think that Paul had something to say on this subject.