The curfew that was imposed yesterday did not seem to be enforced for tourists, so I spent the day wandering around the city. The cops were strictly enforcing it for Nepalis but were letting us tourists go where we wanted. All of the shops and restaurants were closed so there wasn't much to do, but I did get a good sense of the layout of the city. The Nepalis are asking the tourists what the situation is like out there. When I arrived at the guest house hotel, the first thing the owner asked me was, "so what's it like outside?"
Later in the afternoon, a silenced Kathmandu turned into a raging Kathmandu. Demonstrations started cropping up all over the city. Ambulances were everywhere. I watched one stop in front of our guest house, bandaging up one injured demonstrator's head. Well into the night, I could hear the sound of chanting, protests, tear gas being fired. The same cops who that morning, when asked, cheerfully posed for a photograph, were, that afternoon, beating up demonstrators with their thick bamboo sticks.
This morning (Monday), the strike and curfew were supposed to be over. Right now (it's 8:00 AM) the city looks normal. But because of last night's violence, another curfew is being imposed today. The newspaper says that this time it will be a "real" curfew. From what I can gather, a "real" curfew is a shoot-to-kill curfew. I guess I won't be taking any pictures of the police dudes today! :o(
For those of you who are concerned - no worries! I feel pretty safe in the guest house I'm in. Although I can see what's going on if I step outside, the house itself is up a little hill and is not in the line of fire. There are a number of other tourists here.
And yeah Dale, I would feel much better if I was up in the mountains also. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, but right now, it's not looking good for my trek to start tomorrow.