Travel Feed

Stranded in Pokhara

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It has been two days now that the flights are canceled due to rain.   The monsoon was late this year, and light last year, so heavy rain is a good thing for the farmers and the region in general.

We took advantage of the lull in the rain to sit by the side of magnificent Lake Fewa and have unlimited Nepali organic filter coffee and a breakfast.

The water hyacinths have flourished in the two days of rain and seem to be taking over the center of the Lake.   Our chickens like to eat the hyacinth in our pond at home and I wonder why they don't feed it to the livestock here.   Though lovely, water hyacinth is a famous but noxious weed that has blocked waterways from Thailand to Jamaica.   

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Friday evening we stopped at this rooftop restaurant overlooking Lake Fewa for a quick beer and a game of dice.   It soon filled up with young Nepalis ready to start their weekend.   Saturday is the day off here in Nepal.   Sunday is a work day to many.   Just as we were leaving 4 beautiful young Nepali girls dressed to the nines pulled up.   Let the weekend begin!

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The young man who runs this coffee stall studies geology and wanted a signboard that showed the formation of the Himalayas.   This is a replacement sign and the original had been painted by Shahi - one of my artists that has 'disappeared'.   The replacement was painted by Santosh but he may have it redone by Shree.   The rumors you hear on the street!

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Speaking of Santosh, he painted this fine wall with everything you could ever ask for in a travel shop.

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Pokhara used to be filled with hand painted signs advertising everything from massages to elephant rides in Chitwan.   Now most are pre-printed and not as interesting.   I have to admire Santosh' choice of phone above.

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The Yeti is a common feature of businesses here in Pokhara.   Always shown kneeling with one big foot behind serving something on a tray -- I'm not sure I'd want to be offered a drink by a Yeti.

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This body builder is impressive.

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Speaking of Yetis, this is the impressive garden at the Yeti Guest House.   The large rooms are 500 Rupees per night off season and 1000 rupees in season.   (500 Nepali rupees converts to just under US$7 per night).   This includes an attached bathroom.   Contact the Yeti Guesthouse at yetiguesthouse@hotmail.com.  

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Also featured at the Yeti Guest House is a pair of bunnies.  

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They are friendly, love to be petted and happily gobbled up the fruits we found on the grounds of this lush garden. 

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Yellow fungi on a fence log in Pokhara.   The humid climate of Pokhara is conducive to many lovely flora.

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Leika is a white shepherd who deserved a 'beware of dog' sign to guard her traditional Nepali compound.   We heard a low growl from her as we passed admiring the sign.   I gave this to Leika's young master last year and this is the first time I saw where they hung the sign.   The sign was painted by Santosh Shrestha.

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While we were applying for a TIMS trekking permit, I came across a new quirk of Nepali bureaucracy...

Nepal recently recognized the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders, and this may be the result!   Look carefully.   You have the Gender choice of Male, Female or Third!   Bravo Nepal!

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Passing by the artist Poon's studio, I took a few photos of his favorite works that line the walls of his studio.   I'm not sure what is happening in the bright painting in the center of this photo.   The self-portrait on the left is Poon as a young man.

I hope to be in the mountains when you read this, but you can see that it is not too hard to be stranded in the resort town of Pokhara.

If you would like to order a Danger Dog, there is still time.   Send me a photo of your pet and I will give it to at least 3 Nepali signboard artists.   You pay only after you choose which one you prefer.  All artists are paid fair trade wages whether you choose theirs or not.

Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments or with a photo of your pet.  Or go to NepalDog.com for more information.

Be reassured that your order will be received and taken care of. 

The Danger Dog project promotes signboard art from Nepal which is fast disappearing, being replaced with ordinary and common digitally produced advertising.   I believe in Micro-finance through Art Patronage - a rod instead of the fish.

Nepal Art Dogs are for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference.   

Give a gift to someone you love of a portrait of someone they love!


Katmandu and the World Cup

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This cat was at the Netherlands vs Brazil game in Kathmandu.   We watched the game at the Electric Pagoda on a huge screen with every seat filled with revelers rooting for both sides.   The Electric Pagoda has a nice outdoor garden space in the Thamel area near Satgumpti (7 corners).

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The streets of Thamel are filled with the flags of participating nations.

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Just across from our hotel (the Downtown), people from all over Nepal watch the action on a big screen.

 

 

The first Danger Dogs work-in-progress

This is always an exciting time for me in Kathmandu.   I should be picking up the first signs in a couple of days and meantime I get to see the work in progress.

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These two beauties by Amar Shrestha are Happy Dogs.   You can tell by that irrepressible tail on the left hand dog!   These are a work in progress and I can't wait to see the final.

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I stopped by Megh Raj's studio a few days early and was rewarded by these portraits of Dexter and the 4 Labradors in the hatch back.  

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Logan and Buddy are two more Shepherd Danger Dogs by Megh Raj.

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I saw this handsome 'Beware of Dog' sign on my walk home.

If you would like your pet's portrait painted on metal by these struggling Nepali signboard artists, please send me a photo of your pet to ampage1@gmail.com.   I will give that photo to 3 artists, giving you a choice of 3 and 3 artists work at the same time.   You pay nothing if you do not like any of your portraits of your pet.   The artists are paid fair trade wages for all work whether you buy their art or not.   

They make the perfect gift.   Order by August 1, 2010 for this trip.

The Nepal Art Dog Fair Trade project promotes the disappearing art of the Nepali signboard.   Micro-finance through art patronage.

I have commissioned more than 1500 pieces -- making a difference in the artists' lives.

Stay tuned, as I will be picking up more signboards tomorrow, hopefully.   Dogmandu!

For more information about the project contact me at ampage1@gmail.com or go to NepalDog.com.


More 'Beware of Dog' Signboards of Kathmandu

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While ordering Danger Dog signs yesterday, we walked the streets of Kathmandu looking for good 'Beware of the Dog' signs.   Here is an old friend near the Chabahil area of Kathmandu.

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Another old friend in the district.   I often photograph signs I have seen before to keep track of their patina.    This lassie is a particular favorite.   There is a huge compound behind this sign.

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This is a wonderfully naive (and large) signboard advertising a Veterinarian.

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This two-sided signboard is from the same vet.

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This 'beware of dog' sign is certainly different.

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This pretty sign has the typical Nepali tongue on a 'be ware of dog' signboard.

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This 'dog(???)' can speak for itself.

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Turns out that the Everest Kennel Club people are going with a new image!   Yesterday I reported that some family had put their Corgi on their gate.   The Corgi is the new German Shepherd here in Nepal.

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This faded afghan sign is a precursor to the German Shepherd that is now everywhere.   Soon to be replaced by a Corgi?

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All these Danger Dog signs don't seem to phase these kittens.

If you would like to immortalize your pet and help struggling Nepali signboard artists at the same time... now is your chance!  I am here in Kathmandu currently taking orders and will give each commission to 3 artists who will paint your pet on metal, giving you 3 choices and 3 artists work.

Each sign is approximately one square foot, synthetic enamel on often recycled metal.   They can be hung indoors or out.

Any questions or comments are welcome.   You can leave them below or contact me at ampage1@gmail.com.   The Nepal Art Dog project also has a website at NepalDog.com.   There you can find the various artists, their style of art, costs and what's available if you'd like to purchase an existing signboard.  

This is a fair trade art project determined to promote signboard art in Nepal before it completely disappears.    Micro-finance through art patronage.   We are giving these artists a rod not a fish.

Danger Dogs (or Cats) make the perfect gift for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference.


Dogmandu!

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I found this charmer as I walked the streets of Kathmandu.   This Danger Dog with a black eye says:   "You should have seen the other guy!"

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These two don't look nearly as creepy in person as they do in this photo.   In fact, the pug is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen in person.   These two dogs get along like best friends - I photographed them last year in the daylight.   They are extremely friendly and cannot wait to be petted, even at night by a crazy lady with a flash camera!

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There are many Enlightened Dogs in Nepal.   This is Barney, a handsome white labrador retreiver who has had his portrait commissioned as part of my Danger Dog Fair Trade Art project here in Dogmandu.   This portrait is by Baba and is available.   (You can also have your pet painted here in Nepal - contact me at ampage1@gmail.com for more information - or visit my website at NepalDog.com

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We walked a long time in the dark last night.   Kathmandu is still suffering from an electricity shortage and has many scheduled 'load-shedding' (no electricity) times.   Many people now have generators, but it is still dark out there!

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I was happy to see this old favorite yesterday.   These twin boxers have held up well.   When I first saw them, they did not have any blood dripping from their muzzles.  

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Unfortunately this sign, one of my favorites, has not fared so well.   It makes me want to knock on the door and buy it (replacing it with another good signboard, of course).   It may be too late.   The patina on this one was great.   Oh, well.

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Above is an example of an adapted Everest Kennel Club signboard.   They scanned a photo of their own dog (a Corgi!) replacing the standard stenciled shepherd.   Good for them.

I am here in Kathmandu taking orders in the 7th Danger Dog trip.   Please send me your files of your pets and I will give the photos to 3 signboard artists here in Nepal.   They will paint your pet's portrait on metal (using synthetic enamel).   These beware of dog signs can be hung indoors or out.

Your satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   You pay only after choosing which of the 3 portraits you prefer.   The struggling Nepali signboard artists are paid fair trade wages in any case. 

Contact me at ampage1@gmail.com to order or with any questions.   You can also go to NepalDog.com to find out more about the project.

Micro-finance through art patronage.