Rampaging Gang Invades Our Home in Kathmandu

A loud crash on the patio announced their arrival.

 

We ran to the windows and looked out. We were surrounded! There were at least 8 of them. But not to worry, this is a daily happening for us. The “gang” is a large family of Rhesus Macaque, the temple monkeys of Nepal (and India).

Can you spot the youngster eating the trumpet flowers?
A large adult is watching the young one
Snapdragons are yummy too

Before we moved to Kathmandu I had dreams of growing fruit trees much like Southern California. The climate is very similar. It seems that anything you thrown into the soil here will sprout. But the first time I saw the monkeys demolish our papaya tree I realized dreams of fruit trees at our Kathmandu home would be fool’s errand.

Not every home in Kathmandu is like this, but we seem to be on daily migration route of this particular troop of monkeys. Some say they are part of this group: Gangs of Swayambhu

Years ago when they attacked the papaya tree, I went outside banging a pot and yelling at them. The largest one only paused a moment and barred his teeth at me. At that moment I did not think I was such a great ape and retreated inside.

You can see what effect my growl had on the monkeys who were ripping the branches off our pine tree yesterday.

An interesting week in Kathmandu


The monkeys have been very bold of late parading about school and on the electrical wires outside of our house. But I’ve always had a fair distance between them and me. That is until this week when I returned to my classroom after lunch to discover two monkeys walking down the hallway on the third floor. I quickly ran into my room to get the iPad to take a picture of them but they were gone. So I slowly walked down the hallway and saw two more out on the window ledge overlooking the Pre-School playground. I think they were eyeing the “monkey bars” No sooner did I snap this shot when another monkey hidden by a pillar starts climbing over the railing just two feet from me! Aaaaaaaa! With my heart pounding I quickly ran back to my room and shut the door. Fortunately the custodian came by to tell me to stay in my room while he shooed the monkeys away! 

Road Block

That evening I searched for 5 rupee bills (5¢) for the morning. The start of the festival Shivaratri began early in the morning with children stretching rope across the roads. In order to pass by you need to pay them some money. They were delighted with the 5 rupees I gave them. I only encountered 2 groups along my way to school. They use the money to buy wood for the bonfires they would light later that night. They sit vigil around the bonfires at the various Shiva temples throughout the town.

Today was a school field trip to one of the Tibetan monasteries near the school. We sat on our cushions on the floor and watched the monks perform traditional dances to send away all the negative energy from the past year to welcome in the new year beginning tomorrow. The dances went on for 2 hours and the kids were all troopers sitting for that long.

The costumes were fascinating with beautiful embroidered brocade and papier mache  masks. We had front row seats in front of some lovely elderly Tibetan women.

It would have been a great week but one thing was missing. My sweetie! He is in Mumbai at a tech conference.

So as Dorothy said to Toto, “We are not in Kansas anymore!”

-Linda

Election Day

Election day in Nepal was a holiday. More than that, the Election Commission decided it was a vehicle free day. The only vehicles on the road were police, emergency, or army.

good day to walk the cows

The road never looked so large

Badminton on the road

No traffic means clear skies