Monday, January 18, 2010

Richard Gere Visits Pharping

The Penor Rinpoche Center in Pharping was movie star Richard Gere's destination the other day. While in Nepal, he was pleased to be able to have a converswation of over an hour with the head of the Center, Khempo Namdrol. Accompanied to the Center with two guides, Gere happily had his picture taken with numerous members of the community, including a group of students from Europe. Everyone was pleased to see Gere and hope he comes back soon.
X in Nepal

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weather. On Not.

We're presently on holiday in Thailand, and here's the local weather forcast, courtesy of Roger Crutchley in the Bangkok Post:

Occasional outbreaks of red shirts and yellow shirts followed by flurries of boys in green. Widespread funny business leading to periods of mulling, probing and gale-force denials. Occasional storms in a teacup with sporadic outbreaks of Thaksin. Westerly windbags accompanied by parliamentary hot air, thick bureaucratic fog and strong undercurrents of stuff and nonsense. Relative humbug 90%. Future outlook: pretty bleak....

Snow, or rather the absence of it, prompted an embarrassing exchange on a Michigan TV station a couple of years ago. The day after it was supposed to have snowed heavily, but didn't, a female newscaster asked the weatherman quite innocently: "Bob, what happened to that eight inches you promised me last night?" There followed a brief pause before the words sunk in and the weatherman was so convulsed in laughter he had to leave the set....

Possibly the best weather forecast ever appeared in the Arab News in 1979 following severe flooding in Jeddah. The report read: "We regret we are unable to give you the weather. We rely on weather reports from the airport, which is closed because of the weather. Whether we are able to give you the weather tomorrow depends on the weather."

more Roger Crutchley

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nepal Makes New York Times Best List At #31

San Francisco, Amsterdam and Provincetown? Been there. Mykonos and Ibiza? Done that. Looking for the next gay destination? How about the Himalayan country of Nepal? Yes, Nepal.

In the roughly two years since the nation’s supreme court ordered that gay, lesbians and transgendered people be afforded equal rights, this conservative, mostly-Hindu country appears to be moving ahead full throttle.

Gay friendly clubs now dot its capital. (Go to for listings.) A “third gender” category is an option on national I.D. cards. Recently, a transgender beauty queen even got a photo op with the prime minister. And now there’s a tourist agency in Katmandu that is promoting gay tourism to Nepal.

Started by Sunil Babu Pant, an openly-gay legislator, Pink Mountain Travels and Tours ( promises to marry adventure travel with gay weddings. With talk that Nepal may legalize same-sex marriage this year as the country hammers out a new constitution (and, perhaps more importantly, deals with recent bouts of civil unrest), Mr. Pant is offering to hold nuptials at the Mount Everest base camp, jungle safari honeymoons and bridal processions on elephant back.
by Aric Chen

Friday, January 1, 2010

Kid Meets Pup, Mom Says "Back Off"

In a NYT story about goat cheese, Vermont cheese maker Laini Fondiller says she loves goats: “They’re very nice little animals,” she said. “Cows don’t give a damn. Sheep can’t stand ya. Pigs? ‘Just feed me!’ And goats really do want to be around you.”
We can attest to that. And the kids are really cute, bouncing around your feet on their thin, pogo-stick legs.

On the narrow, back path to Pharping the other day, we came across a mother goat tied to a staked leash, with three small kids just hanging around. They just would't stray far away from mom, but they were perfectly willing to bounce around us as we quietly walked by. Christine said one of the black and white ones just bounced around behind me as I tried to get by. Mom looked on approvingly.

But when a tan pup showed up (click on the pic for a better view of his nose at the lower right), mom went on red alert. She quickly moved past me and chased the pup away, but was perfectly agreeable as I bent down to pat the kid before we went on our way. --Jerry in Nepal