Monday, March 29, 2010

Mike's Breakfast

Beautiful, isn't it? I was introduced to the original Mike's breakfast the very first time that I arrived in Nepal, 18 years ago. I had met a trekking guide from the US who hiked in sandals, smoked like a chimney, and was reckless enough to ride a motorcycle on the busy unpaved roads of Nepal. But, he had a good heart, and was a shepherd to every stray that crossed his path. I was one of those strays.

Here I am. I'm dressed in brown to camouflage the dirt. Hiking boots, very practical, and Transition lenses because of the high rate of cataracts in the Himalayas.

Mike's is another hidden place, about a mile from Thamel. Expats always visit if they know where to find it. I was just lucky. It is on a jumble of a corner and looks like a parking lot in front of a dusty wall from the outside. I have visited Mike's every time I have gone to Nepal, it has a calming atmosphere and delicious food! Sadly, I was told that Mike passed away two years ago, but his friend maintains his restaurants.

Here is my traveling companion, Tania Kurkaa, who owns a bead store, The Pear Tree, in Brookline, MA. She is sitting in the art gallery that is up stairs at Mike's Breakfast dreaming about having her wedding in this beautiful place. An excellent traveling companion!

Back out on the street again, you see the dirt and the rubble and the trash, but just as often you find hidden treasures and little surprises. Decorated doors and windows, beautiful gates, and this charming park, Nagpokhari, which literally means, Snake Pond.

This was our first morning in Nepal. From here we ran around visiting suppliers and letting people know that we were in town. One of my suppliers offered to show us her workshop. That's for the next post.


  1. Yes it is beautiful i want to be there. I love the devotion that is expressed in colorful flowers beads and statues.

  2. You DID find a hidden treasure. It is wise, I have learned, to find a friend among the local people who can tell you about such things as good places to eat and shop. Traveling in tour groups makes this almost impossible and pretty much defeats the purpose of the trip. You can probably get a better look at landmarks on televison. It's the people and their lives that makes travel an experience. (good or bad)

  3. How do you deal with the moments of loneliness and homesickness that must invade your thoughts when you travel so far from home and into such a very different culture?
    Blessings, Star

  4. Hi Ellen, yes. Did you notice the garland of marigolds on the statue of Ganesh. It is the same as the one on the statue at my hotel. I often hear people in the US say that they are very religious. There are so many people in the world that are very religious with daily devotions, prayers and prostrations.

    Hi Leenie, I know what you are saying and I like wandering and making those deeper connections, but I also know it is simply not possible for some people to travel that way. I think they should get out there and do it any way that they can.

    Star, Wow! That is a good question. I don't get very lonely when I travel. I miss my family, but I have faith that I will see them again soon. The only time that I remember really feeling lonely was in my late twenties. I had been living in Japan for 3 years and then I was wandering around China for months with no particular goal. I was not yet married. I saw other travelers who had been on the road like that for 20 years or more, and that scared me. Traveling is a little addictive. There is a high with every discovery you make and every predicament that you get out of. And there are very cheap paradises where you can live on a beach and eat delicious fresh food and read books endlessly. I had found some beautiful things, but I had no one to show them to and no home to bring them back to. finally it was the sense that I wanted roots and that I wanted to make a contribution that brought me home again.

    *My simple explanation is that loneliness is a state of mind. I have felt it while surrounded by people if I fail to make an honest connection with them. A hearty, "Hello, where are you from?" helps a lot.

  5. I love these travel posts of yours. I feel like I know the country much better than reading a travel book, or looking at a website.

  6. I want to be there too, this is so interesting to be able to see Nepal through your eyes. And to hear you describe it too. I like your explanation of loneliness, you are so right. The only time i feel lonely is when a human connection is lacking.

    Thank you for sharing here, i'm really enjoying this!
    what was the weather temp? it looks beautiful out.

  7. Hi Lori ann, it was in the high 70's low 80's in the sunshine but it dropped to the low 40's at night. That's farenheight.

  8. wonderful to see you and this great place to stay. I also enjoyed your thoughts on loneliness in the comments. I have felt the loneliest in crowds or with another person than I ever have alone.