Life outside my window

I have a “comfortable” room in the Om Guest House here in Boudha, Nepal, in a quiet part of town next door to the Hyatt Regency. Of course, there is a large wall separating us, and one night in the Hyatt costs what I am paying for my entire 20-day stay at the guest-house, but I’ll bet they have nicer sheets.

Outside my window is a carpet cleaning business. Men roll out carpets on the concrete slab, dredge water from the trough that runs along one side, pour the water on and under the carpets, squeegee it out with paddles and dry the carpets on roofs. You can also see some carpet stretchers in the foreground.

The trough also serves as a communal bath (men only) and a dish-washing area for women. Noting the algae floating in the trough, I am not sure how clean carpets or people get, but cleanliness is a relative term. While it might not look like much, it is actually a great view because it keeps my room quiet. I am not on a noisy street, carpet cleaning involves no motors, and no one is around at night, though it helps to keep the humidity pegged at about 100%.

Boudha is an important Tibetan area, which is why I am here. You can see the Tibetan prayer flags on the apartment building in the background and in the yard on the side. Peeking out just beyond the trees is the Shechen Monastery.