Monday, 30 April 2012

Basking In Bhaktapur

About 20 kilometers east of Kathmandu sits the well-preserved ancient city of Bhaktapur. Founded in the 12th century, Bhaktapur is Nepal's best example of Newari culture and architecture. They've done a great job restoring the place, recovering from a devastating earthquake in 1934. No cars are allowed on most of the streets, so strolling around the place gives the feeling of going back in time, waaay back in time. Until you order a Coca Cola at lunch.

The best place to start in Bhaktapur is the big plaza of Durbar Square, a grand gathering area filled with sublime details.

One of the highlights of the square is the beautiful stone Batsala temple. One of the lowlights is fending off the guide solicitations, mostly disguised as "a student wanting to practice English." Sarah practicing her Diplomatic skills, harmless enough.

The palace of 55 windows. Maybe where the phrase "I don't do windows" started? The impressive five-tiered Nyatapola temple in Taumadhi square. A great looking wedding cake of a structure.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Doorways Of Nepal

Time to exploit a tried and true photo framing device, Nepal-style. Presenting a shortened, but more varied version of those warhorse posters titled something like "Southern Doors of Old Charleston" or "Skank Bathrooms of The Bowery." Hello doors of Nepal.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Back Off!

You know those big rig trucks in the US that have those Yosemite Sam mud flaps that show him pulling his guns and saying "Back off?" In Nepal, they have their own versions.

Maybe someone's done you wrong. What better place to express your frustration than your own truck?

Maybe you have a lot to say on the matter, might as well use the back of your big rig. And don't speed!

It's simple. Read the sign on the back of this bus and act appropriately.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Kids In Nepal

The little tykes are everywhere in Nepal, hanging out looking cute. Whether in their school uniform best or all bundled up, the kids are an irresistible subject for lovely photos.

Stroller, playpen? Nope, we'll use old milk crates to keep the little ones where we want 'em. Catching some rays in a doorway.

Young girl at a temple and a younger girl getting mommy's encouragement to pose for a photo.

Two school girls. Taking a little one out for a walk and a wave.

The other uniform of Nepal. Our favorite: a picture that reminds of us of a famous Helen Levitt photograph.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Retro Natural History Museum

There's a small Natural History museum in Kathmandu that's the museum equivalent of a baseball "throwback" jersey night. Let's step back in time and catch a glimpse at what the Smithsonian must have looked like way back when.

The humble entrance, looking like a cross between a ranch and a barn. The view inside, outfitted with classic wooden cases.

A small sample of stuffed heads that look a bit like someone's trophy room. Don't touch! Seems a little too late, because it looks like other folks have already shuffled this elephant as if it were a deck of cards.

Ouch! This cat looks like it had a little trouble with the jungle mafia. Grab bags? No, scat bags. Perhaps we'll go grab something else.

Not your mother's spice rack. A bit reminiscent of the storage locker from Silence of the Lambs. A barking deer that looks the part. Seems like a bad combination.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tooth Display

For some reason, cartoon images of teeth are a good way of advertising your dental practice in Nepal. Shine a set of pearly whites and it'll be molar madness -- at least that's the idea.

There's nothing subtle about a set of chompers in the middle of your sign. Time to get your canines checked?

Maybe a green or blue background sets your practice apart?

Be careful who paints your sign or your set of teeth might end up looking too close to a white hamburger. Our favorite, the hip-hop dentist: they're good with a prominent gold tooth. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Portraits Of Nepal

Can you tell a country by its people?  If so, Nepal is quite an interesting, unique and beautiful place.  August Sander would have had a great time documenting the population. We offer up our samples:

For a look at more of August Sander's work, check out this site.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Water Truck Madness In Nepal

Similar to the water trucks in India, the trucks in Nepal are blank canvases ready for customizing. It's always fun to see something as utilitarian as a water truck be tricked out.

King of the Road? Let's mix it up a bit. Rock star? Not quite.

Water bottles can have images of the alps or similar idyllic natural spring scenes, why not a water truck? A typical cab, all customized.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Signs Of Beauty

In Nepal, why use a standard barbershop pole when you can get a custom hand painted sign? Whether it's an image of a woman with "Charlie's Angels" hair, or a long description of your services, you can do whatever you want on your sign.

"Come in and look like me," the sign promises. Maybe an Art Deco graphic is enough of an enticement.

Is it salon or sailoon? So what's a sailoon? It all looks right in Nepali.

Another model sign, not looking too friendly. On the right, lots of services, but only for the ladies. Would a man come in for bridal make-up anyway?