Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tobacco banned, not marijuana

You can still light up a cigarette in a Dutch cafe after July 1, but only if you're smoking marijuana, not tobacco.
New indoor-smoking ban allows customers to smoke inside marijuana "coffee shops" as long as the joint is pure cannabis. But cutting joints with tobacco will be illegal. Just in case you didn't know...

This is Asia

As a wrack I left the airplane yesterday. The eight hour waiting at Bahrain Airport didn't give me any extra rest after already a whole day of traveling. But it was all forgiven when I finally arrived in Kathmandu. Pitch black it was, warm and humid but also filled with smells and sounds unknown in the Western world. The airport is still basic, not as high-tech as Schiphol Airport. A lot of guys with big guns, something not (visible) present at Schiphol.

At the escalators a line formed; a man pushed his stuff on the stairs, but didn't follow. For two minutes he stood there, hesitating when to step on the moving stairs. The line waited with patience. Once on the stairs, the guy was counting when to get off. His friend down the escalator embraced him with a clap on the shoulder and a big smile.

After the visa/passport check the crown moved to another stair. It seemed to me that I had to go through a ricked gate to get to the luggage. When I looked back, I saw the crowd turning around with a bit of confusement and finally follow the same way I did. Boxes, blankets, whole televisions passed before I found my bag. At the end of the airport a pickup service was waiting for me. In an old jeep we drove through small alleys, stopping suddenly because there was a calf on the road. Carefully the driver got round the animal to continue its way over bumpy lanes.

With a friendly "Namaste" and a cup of tea I was welcomed in the hotel. A shy guy brought me to my room. A basic one, but with everything in it.

This morning I woke up with the noise of fighting parrots (at least, I think so). I love being in Asia again!

Day Opening - July 2


Skyine of Manila, the Philippines.