Down and Out in Kathmandu

Author: prallegretto

Location

Content

Overall

Zelda Richardson ditches her secure computer-programming job in Seattle and heads to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, to work as a volunteer English teacher, in what turns out to be an undisciplined, free-for-all classroom. Nevertheless, this somewhat naïve but gutsy young woman is determined not to allow this country and its 25-plus million people get the better of her, even as her preconceived romanticized notions are quickly squelched. However, it’s not only the country she collides with, but also, the charming Australian trekker who ends up more fixed on drugs and alcohol than scaling the Nepalese peaks.

Alderson’s portrayal allows the reader to view the underbelly of the city, with all its smells and sounds, its chaos and pathos. In fact, Kathmandu becomes its own character and leaves the reader to decide if it’s an antagonist or protagonist.

This is a well-researched (on site experience) and entertaining read for both armchair travelers and trekkers.

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