So here's a crazy story about how I almost died yesterday (excuse the language in advance)!
They offer movies at the hotel we're staying at here in Kathmandu (Nepal) in a little mini theatre off of one of the courtyards. Darren felt like exploring the city a bit, but I felt like vegging out and catching the movie. Darren went downtown and I got to the movie a bit early so I sat down in the courtyard with a book and a bottle of water.
Then out of the freakin' blue a seriously huge thing (possibly a gigantic pot for a plant or a bird bath or something) came crashing out of the sky about 6 feet from where I was sittting. It sounded like a bomb or something and in smashed into pieces on impact. There was only me and about 4 Spanish guys in he courtyard and we all looked up six stories high to the corner of the courtyard and there was a guy on the roof up there. The Spanish guys were yelling at him and asking him what the hell just happened, and he gave a loopy shrug/dance move and then disappeared. We were all pretty shaken and were just sort of staring at each other in shock thinking "what the f*ck was that" when a second mysterious object came bombing out of the air and smashing on the cement in the courtyard. Then more things started coming. We started to run for cover and by this time the restaurant manager and 2 waiters had come to see what the hell was going on. The three hotel employees ran into the courtyard and basically made a human shield over me and ran me under cover.
This crazy bastard was throwing 10 foot long iron pipes, toilet seats and random chunks of metal down at us in the courtyard. The Spanish guys were in a panic and pretty soon there was a bunch of hotel staff under the roof and the Spanish guys were explaining to them how close I was to being hit by the first object. The hotel staff called the police to get the guy under control. He was definately on some crazy drugs or something--you could tell by the way that he was moving and acting.
I went to wait by the restaurant because I kind of wanted to see the guy being arrested. About 5 cops went into the hotel (unarmed) then 3 of them came back out and then returned to the hotel with rifles, about 10 minutes later 5 more cops came, then 5 more, then 5 more....there were about 25-30 police in the hotel and I was really starting to wonder what the hell was going on.
By this time Darren had gotten back and I caught him up to speed on what was going on. We went up to our room and could see off of our balcony that the guy had cornered himself on the roof across the courtyard and was armed with a 12 inch Gurkha knife and that the police were trying to talk him down. We watched the stand off and the guy was seriously off his rocker. He was making animal sounds and dancing around...it was pretty surreal.
Finally after 5 hours the guy had started to come down from what ever drug he was hopped up on. There was a Russian lady there who was translating the police negotiations with him. There were a few moments when it looked pretty certain that he was going to jump off the roof--it was pretty freaky. We couldn't really get the whole story, because we couldn't understand the Nepali or Russian language.
Anyways, finally the cops agreed to clear off the roof and let the guy down on his own (part of the negotiations I guess), we watched him come down and then he went to his room (which he had lit on fire right before going up on the roof and tossing shit) and I think the cops ambushed him there, we couldn't see, but there was things crashing in his room. We saw the cops haul him out, a few of them had blood on their uniforms as did the interpreter but it was unclear who's it was. We didn't see anyone with serious injuries.
So yeah that was my night last night........it was like a movie....I kept thinking, is this really happening....it was pretty intense. A crazy world!
So yes, we have been travelling for one month, have had our passports stolen, our camera stolen, made 2 trips to the Chinese police station, had a freak-out in a restaurant bathroom due to a creepy Peeping Tom, got trapped behind a landslide, almost got taken out by a strung out Russian throwing things from 6 stories up and watched a 5 hour police stand off. Good times! Aaaaahhhhhhhh!!! It's certainly been an adventure.
On another note, we're leaving on a 21 hiking trip through the Himalaya's tomorrow. I'm really excited. We've hired a guide and will be hiking town to town (no need for tents etc.). It will be a long, hard few weeks, with our highest ascent being about 5400m but I'm looking forward to getting out of the city for a while...should be some amazing scenery.
We're love, love, loving Nepal...food is goooooooooooood, people are great, scenery is unbelieveable!