Not having a blast
Hi everyone, just dropping a line to say I have been unable to connect via the laptop for several days here. I'm not too worried, no one else could either....so have finally made my way to the rickety cyber cafe.
Also letting everyone know that, though there were tragic bomb blasts in both Kashmir and Bombay today, I was nowhere near either. (I am lucky enough to have people worry about me every time a bomb goes off anywhere in South Asia. That's a good thing.)
So far, 200 people are said to have died in Bombay; and at least 7 people including some tourists died in Kashmir in five separate, synchronized explosions. The reports I've read say they believe these attacks - occurring in two very distant cities - were related. You can read the full stories here, but these links will be outdated in a few hours: Blasts hit Bombay commuter trains Five tourists killed in Srinagar attacks
Happy Birthday to Who?
Biggest news here was that the King's birthday wasn't. That is, it was not a holiday, for the first time ever in the history of Nepali government. They had a celebration at the palace and even a 21-gun salute, but the government offices, schools and so on stayed closed. This is big news.
Strangely, it was July 7, the day following the Dalai Lama's birthday. Even more strange, the Dalai Lama and George W. Bush share the same birthday. (Eleven years apart, but still.)
What really pissed me off was waking up the next morning seeing photos in the paper of *civilians* lined up to come inside the Palace and greet the King. The Palace! Inside! you mean, if we had KNOWN about it we could have gone and met one of the very last sitting monarchs in the world?!?! Now I've lost all my sympathy for the newly liberated Nepali press. What good are they if they can't give me advance notice of such photo opps?