backstreets of Kathmandu

a sabbatical rest, day 167

Kathmandu lockdown, day 46

“there is not a place of splendour or a dark corner of the earth that does not deserve, if only a passing glance of wonder and pity.”

—Jospeh Conrad

I often take photos of doors, but I’m equally attracted to lanes and alleys. Here is Kathmandu they are easy to find, especially in the older sections of the city. The large city block are divided by an endless maze of lanes and alleys, leading into courtyards, shops and restaurants. You can find a place on a map, but you can’t find it in person. Addresses are merely street names, often the names of a street nearby.

I don’t know if I should even go down the narrower ones; they might be private. They get smaller and darker the further you go, and then, sometimes open up into a verdant courtyard, where you can find a cup of tea. During the lockdown, they seem deserted. Lonely, even. Before, they pulsed with people, vibrant and colorful and loud.

I’m usually am on my way somewhere, on a main road, but stop to snap a photo of a side street or alley, because it looks inviting. Or because it doesn’t. Mostly inviting, an invitation to explore. And to wonder.


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