Kathmandu – Tashidelek

Bekas-bekas luka yang konon akibat siksaan tentara China. (AGUSTINUS WIBOWO)

August 30, 2005

Kathmandu Tourist Bungallow 200 NRs
Today I decided to repair my cameras, despite of the unavailability of Nikon Service Center. The recommended service is an authorized Canon service in New Road. On my way from Thamel to New Road, I passed several small alleys, and suddenly I heard someone greets me, “Tashidele”. I saw an unknown face, but this man insisted that he saw me somewhere in Lhasa (in Jokhang temple, even I am sure I have never entered that temple). He then greeted me by touching my forehead with his forehead, Tibetan way.

Then, like an old friend, he told me all of his stories, that he is going to Dharmasala, that he is a monk there and how Dalai Lama will protect me. OK, as he is so friendly, I decided to spend some time before going to repair my camera. I offered a tea.

He chose a very luxurious restaurant (good, good….), and then while waiting for the tea, he gave me a necklace that he claimed was from Dalai Lama and has accompanied him for 20 yrs. (I cant believe that someone could give such a precious item to anyone he just met on road). OK, I accepted. Then he told the stories that he was caught by the Chinese and put in jail for 20 yrs, being tortured, and all of his family were killed. He almost cried when telling me the story. And as what all of you guess, he asked for my donation.

He can be telling truth, and i am not unwilling to help, but I am also in problem now. Cameras broken, the f*cking expensive Indian visa for Indonesian nationals, bla bla bla. And furthermore, I never know this man and giving 20 bucks to him is really out of my budget. So I politely refused him. My trick is pretending to be more poorer, telling him all of my problems with cameras and Indian visa, and pretending to cry also (almost) …. And guess what, after finishing the tea, he just left me as we never known before.

OK, maybe I am mean. But really, me, myself, also in troubles….

About Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus is an Indonesian travel writer and travel photographer. Agustinus started a “Grand Overland Journey” in 2005 from Beijing and dreamed to reach South Africa totally by land with an optimistic budget of US$2000. His journey has taken him across Himalaya, South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. He was stranded and stayed three years in Afghanistan until 2009. He is now a full-time writer and based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Contact: Website | More Posts

6 Comments on Kathmandu – Tashidelek

  1. haha… gaya lain dalam hal ‘ngemis’
    banyakin amal dong gus :p

  2. hehehe.. at least menolaknya dgn cara yg sama dgn orang yg minta duit.. sama2 tricky.. trus teh nya siapa yg bayar gus? kalung nya diambil lagi? hehehe..

  3. ha ..ha.. tampangnya harus terus dibuat sedih Gus…

  4. That guy trying to get your sympathy, I bet he was surprised to know that you were in worse condition than he is.. :) Anyway gus, beware of crook and cheaters. The world out there is not safe.

  5. emang gitu gus, di nepal kalo tau elo turis pasti di minta2in.

  6. Adam Alexander Smith // September 5, 2005 at 9:31 pm // Reply

    Shame you had to meet such people with a sob story, Ming. In places like Kathmandu it’s very difficult to know what is true, and people will try all kinds of “Hey, remember me?” tricks on people. Same in India. Knowing how most foreign visitors are polite by nature, many visitors will agree that perhaps they met them in the past (as not to offend them). Personally i cannot stand it when our politeness and trust is abused in this way. I guess that the way he left right after the tea after begin given no donation, is a clear sign he was only after one thing. You did the right thing.

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