This text has been updated. See below for photos and additional text.
Amit the photographer..takes a photo of a tourst at the Edinburgh Castle at the latter’s request.
People had told me two things about Edinburgh: 1) The place is very beautiful. 2) It is very very cold up there. If you think London is too cold, take a lot of clothes with you if you are going to Edinburgh.
The first piece of information is correct. I admit that the hills are not as tall or big as I had imagined them to be but this place is beautiful and it feels nice to walk around. If these small hills (thumkas not dandas) look bigger than they actually are it could be because they are so close to the sea. Who has seen their reflection on sea water? I think I took more photos here than I took in London.
On second point: weather has been so very kind to me. I arrived here on Wednesday afternoon. Beautiful day, clear skies, great view and it’s so warm yesterday and today that, for the first time since I arrived in the UK, I took my jacket off. I couldn’t have imagined walking on streets of London and York without wearing a jacket. Continue reading
A cyclist passed by as Dinesh Wagle posed for camera at the Millennium Bridge over River Ouse in York. Pic by Bishnu Pariyar
It was a friend of mine who asked me if I wanted to go to York and, through that question, encouraged me to go to the place where he had spent 10 years of his youthful life procrastinating and photographing the walled city and, in his last years there, taking time out to earn a PhD from the University of York in Environment and Politics. He connected me (Thank you, MP!) with a young and energetic man who, like my friend, had recently finished his PhD from the same university and was living in York along with his family. Continue reading
Better late than never. Continued from my Feb/March London/UK trip.
I visited the newly refurbished BBC building to see newsrooms and recording studios. Liked the design and overall feel of newsrooms/sections (lobbys to gather and discuss) which are open and very much connected with each other. Impressive glass walls received the highest score. (From a BBC website: At the heart of the building is the newsroom, a column-free space, surrounded by technical areas and day-lit by the eight-storey high atria above.)
A big thanks to Bhagirath Yogi who works at the Nepali Service for giving me a tour of the $1.59 billion building. If you want to read more about the building here’s a Guardian article. Want to read about New York Times’ new building? Here you go: Architecture Blog: New York Times Building Vs Kantipur Tower!).
A few “interesting” things that I noticed while wandering around in London and York.
Victoria Station: from where overground trains begin
Passengers looking at schedules of overground trains leaving Victoria Terminus.
This staircase has 175 steps….
Thieves Beware, Plain Clothes Police Officers Are Operating In This Area
Thieves Beware: Forensic Trap Devices In Use
This dude, named Anand, runs his business of cheating just infront of the new Department of International Development building at Whitehall. He gave 10 pounds less for every 100 US dollars. Wouldn’t have given him the pleasure of ripping me off had I known his business practice beforehand. When I realized he was not giving me the normal rate it was late by about one minute. And he wouldn’t exchange the money back. Lesson: Don’t trust money changers even if you are in central London.
Bhaskar Adhikari who works at the Royal Botanical Gardens as a researcher gave me a near-detailed tour of the beautiful Gardens. Pic by Amit Gautam.
Here’s my Edinburgh entry (now with photos).
It was Amit’s idea. He knew someone who worked there. That someone, I later came to know, was Bhaskar Adhikari (PhD from University of Edinburgh). Bhaskar worked as a researcher at the “Flora of Nepal” section of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. He had agreed to give us a tour of the Gardens. Fantastic. Thank you Bhaskar ji. Continue reading
सानो (माइक्रो) बस चढेर ठूलो साझा बसको फेरी थालिएको सेवाको गाडी चढेर उद्घाटन गर्न पुगेका मुख्य सचिव लिलामणी पौडेलसँग हात मिलाउदै बसका अध्यक्ष कनकमणी दीक्षित । तस्बिर राजेश केसी ।
उनन्सत्तरीमा सबैभन्दा जनपयोगी काम काठमान्डूमा बर्षको अन्तिम दिनमा भए जस्तो लाग्यो । शहरमा सार्वजनिक बस सेवा साझा यातायातको पुन थालियो । अहिलेलाइ १६ वटा बसले दुइवटा रूटमा सेवा दिने भनिएको छ । तर आशा गर्न सकिन्छ सेवाको विस्तार हुन्छ- शहरभरी, देशैभरी र विदेशसम्म पनि । सञ्चालकहरूले पनि त्यो सबै प्रतिज्ञा गरेका छन् । साझा यातायातको सेवा विस्तारबाट भन्दा ठूलो आशा मैले यो प्रयासले नेपालमा रही आएको नीजि यातायात सेवालाई ‘राम्रो हुन’ प्रेरणा र दवाव दिने छ भन्ने हो । एनसेलको आगमनले एनटीसीलाई कसरी प्रेरणा र सकारात्मक दवाव मिलेको छ भन्नेकुरा शहरमा हालै खुलेका एनटीसीका सेवा केन्द्रहरूले प्रष्ट्रयाउछन् ।
काठमान्डूमा सार्वजनिक यातायातको दुर्दशाको चित्रण/बर्णन गरी के साध्ये । निकै अगाडीको एउटा लेख र केही अगिको एउटा ब्लग इन्ट्रीमा मैले त्यो प्रयास गरिसकेकोले अहिले दोहोर्याउदिन । त्यो दुर्दशाबाट अलिकति भएपनि मुक्ति पाइएला भन्ने आशा भएकैले अहिले यति लेख्न जागर चलेको हो ।
हाम्रो देशमा अहिले सबैभन्दा ठूलो समस्या भनेको प्रबन्धनको हो । स्रोत, साधन, जनशक्ति र ज्ञान नभएको हैन । तर उचित प्रबन्धनको क्षमता अलि कम भएको देखिएको छ । माइतीघर-तीनकुने सडक विस्तार हुनथालेको महिनौं भइसक्यो । पैसा नभएर काममा ढिलाइ भएको हो ? कि बेरोजगारीहरूले िभत्ता रंगाएको यो सहरमा त्यो सडकखण्डमा काम गर्ने मानिसको कमी भएर ? यसअघिका प्रमले प्राथमिकतामा राखेको सडक विस्तार कार्यको सबैभन्दा सुरूवाती प्रयास यति धीमा गतिमा चल्नुमा प्रबन्धन क्षमतामा कमजोरी देख्छु ।
अपेक्षा के हो भने साझाको व्यवस्थापन र प्रबन्धन कुशल र चुस्त छ अनि त्यसले साझा बसमात्र चलाउदैन नेपाली सार्वजनिक यातायातको सुधारमा प्रेरणा, दवाव र योगदान दिने छ । हिजोको कान्तिपुर को लेखमा साझा सहकारी यातायातका अध्यक्ष कनकमणी दीक्षितले पनि त्यस्तै गर्ने योजना रहेको उल्लेख गरेका छन् ।
दीक्षितको प्रसंग आइहाल्यो अबको भाग उनकै बारेमा । Continue reading
The man in the middle had brought a list that he said police had prepared and contained many ethnic groups/nationalities including Nepali of the world. He argued that those on the upper part (white Europeans) received favorable treatment from police than those that are at the lower part of the list. James (not seen) believed the man was wrong. About 10 minutes later I saw the man on left chatting with James and, at one point, he tried to include me into their conversation about international banking asking what I felt about it.
So the Speakers’ Corner hasn’t been deserted after all. After I posted an entry on the place portraying it as an empty place James (call him Sir James or James Chambuwan ) suggested me to go there on a Sunday afternoon. That’s what I did and, lo and behold, there was another James, slightly taller than the one who suggested me to go there, I must admit, talking animatedly about various crises in the world but mainly focusing his lecture to European affairs. A few middle-aged men surrounded him as he continuously spoke, leaving little chance for others to interrupt, moving both hands and his whole body furiously and occasionally jumping a few inches from the ground (or may be just raising is both ankles) to make a particularly important point. Some of his listeners were trying their best to interrupt him, correct him and to counter and add their own views to what he was saying.
James the Speaker of the Imperial College, London (a student of Chemistry who plans to go into finance and politics- finance more likely than politics, he admitted- in future and thinks it’s good to be grounded in pure science while making career in one of the aforementioned areas) was one of about seven speakers who were Continue reading
Here comes your ale…
I don’t enjoy alcohol. I dislike the taste of beer. Smell of whiskey makes me vomit. Same with jaand, raksi, tongba, chhyang and aanila (which I unsuccessfully tried to drink in a Newari restaurant in Kirtipur just before Dasain in October). That being a detailed disclaimer and me being a bahun ko chhoro who shouldn’t be touching all these dirty things (!! ), let alone drink or try to drink, here I present a series of photos from various pubs of London where I drank a lot of ale and beer (again taste was horrible).
A friend had suggested to find the difference of taste between ale and lagar. I heeded the suggestion. Not sure if I could find any but it was all fun. Got almost drunk. That was all part of my ‘see and feel London’ efforts. Also, I wanted to post this entry. In the process, I learned a thing or two about the role of pubs in British life (like how they bring communities together etc). Talked to a few random people who were consuming a lot of alcohol. Some of them were dancing and others were singing (see the video). Continue reading