Arriving in Hindu/Buddhist Kathmandu is quite a nice change after three months in the Islamic middle east. The traffic is a lot more relaxing..motorbikes slowly go forward at bicycle speed waiting for pedestrians to cross the street. Which is quite a big change from the small streets of the old city of Damascus where cars would speed with an arms length room on each side and expect pedestrians to move away or be moved to the hospital. Freedom set by the religion is also quite an obvious change. While in the middle east girls are forced to cover themselves here in Nepal here you will find a sign saying 'no local friends in the room please' above your door in the hostel. Which unfortunately suggests prostitution is a bit more of a problem here. I am staying in a nice and friendly place called Holyland Guesthouse for 250 rupees (less than $4). A clean room with bathroom right in the middle of Thamel which basically is backpacker heaven. This area is full of hostels, internet cafes, restaurants, bars and shops selling hippie-style clothes. And of course heaps of trekking companies and shops selling trekking gear. Something I will do as soon as I am feeling better than I am doing at the moment. Before doing the Annapurna circle, a two-week trek, I will observe a hopefully peaceful election process and spend some time with Line who is arriving from Goa to extend her in Indian visa. Line has been driving with her friend Birte from Oslo through Europe, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Iran and Pakistan to get to India. Read their blog and you will soon find out that these crazy girls have done crazy things in crazy places.