I had given VIN the dollars that all of you gave me, and Om and I set off with a fistful of Nepalese rupees which we had been carte Blanche to spend as we chose!
So Om and scoured little shops hunting for bargains. I ended up spending the night at her home as it was far too late for me to catch the bus back to the monastery and I had to be back with her at 9 in the morning.
She lives in a first floor three bed roomed flat. So interesting as one accesses the flats through a door on the street, then one walks along a corridor up the stairwell to the first floor landing where the two bedrooms doors that face the steltret are, followed by the bathroom door, then the kitchen door and finally the lmain bedroom. The stairs continue to the next level and the next apartment. So there is no door to ones flat just doors off the communal stairwell. I slept in a single bed next to the double bed that she and her 11 year old daughter slept in! We crept in under the mossie nets after supper at about ten and wonder upon wonders I slept pretty well!!! The bathroom has a western loo but there is no running water altho the bathroom and kitchen are plumbed.. There is also very little running water at the VIN office which is not far from her home. It seems Balaju is a dry area??
The next morning we set off at about eight to finalize the purchases from the little shops near her. We then went home to her house for breakfast, after which we caught the bus into the old bazaar inKathmandu centre. What an amazing place - a labyrinth of small lanes running in all directions where we stopped to buy face cloths, scissors, stationary, little carpet sweepers - finally ending up at a place where they sold stainless steel plates that will serve as trays, plus melamine trays, ladles and bowls for spooning; mugs, straight sided stainless steel mugs that they call glasses for pouring. It was a night mare figuring out how many bowls, trays, glasses etc we needed for ten schools!! It took for ever and then finally we gave the guy a deposit and left, with him promising to have everything ready in the morning. It was a case of asking for something, then he or his mate would disappear only to arrive a few minutes later with his version of what you had requested!! Tricky as most of the time Om didn't know what I was wanting either so couldn't translate!!!
I'm losing track of what happened but the bottom line is that when we returned the next day nothing was ready!! Itvtook forever to getvitvorganisedcwith him serving other people amongst it all and saying he was just waiting for someone to bring this or that! Well a few hours later we finally had it all in a very large box which of course we couldn't carry! Mom problem out of nowhere a chap arrived with a strap and rope whichnhebtiedcaround the box and put the strap around his head supported on his forehead and off we set to find a taxi😊 Om vary eyed with the taxi drivers while this poor guy stood patiently waiting for us to agree on a price. He then loaded the box into the taxi accepted R 5 from us and disappeared.