Sitting in a dusty bowl between the mountains Katmandu appears to be designed with a 6 year old’s lego set.  Box shapes, sit on other box shapes to form a cubist painters dream. This structure should be an inspiration to many an overcrowded city in the world. as Katmandu has figured out that the rooftops are the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the streets below. Why do so many cities not realise this. Sure you have a few pipes and water containers to deal with, but so what. The rooftop is the place to be. The other thing with Katmandu is that the streets are very narrow. This means that the roof tops are very close and it is easy to shout abuse and throw things at your neighbour.

 

Most importantly  though this it is a great place to fly your kite. Or more to the point fight you kite. Kite fighting is quite a sport here, especially around the time of the Dasdain festival (October).  There are thousands of them all locked in mini dog fights. 

 

So as far as I have figured out the general rules are to dive bomb the other kite and try to break their string. So every now and then you see a kite fluttering to the ground, its owner defeated, a hi-chait (kite with cut line) or loooooser. The kites are pretty flimsy, made from tissue paper and sticks, but they do the job, as generally there is not much of a breeze. Now  this is when it becomes really technical as people start to armour their string, apparently this can be done with crushed light bulbs, gum or boiled slugs. This armour is designed to cut the other persons line if you cross strings. Not too sure about the boiled slugs, but heh.

 

There is no better way to spend the late afternoon than sit and watch these battles as they commence….I am sure there must be and illigal kite fighting gambling den somewhere around here someplace. If not, why not.

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