Swoyambhu, Swayambhunath, Swayambhu, Monkey Temple.
There are so many ways of calling it this temple,
but I certainly feel monkey temple is my least favored name.
It diminishes how important and iconic this place is
as one of the main n pilgrimage sites for buddhists.
I came to Swoyambhu 1st thing on my 1st morning.
I came alone, since Roy & Vivek had probably for their excursion already and
I couldn't find Enzo or Connor when I was leaving.
So I took a taxi straight to it.
As soon as you arrive, you'd be confronted by this:
Okay, it was then that I got it,
why this place was referered to as the Monkey Temple at the hostel.
Because as soon as I heard Monkey Temple i almost didn't want to go.
But once I got here, I realised this was the temple they meant when they said "Monkey Temple".
I really am not a fan of these rascals.
Life is hard for them so they have to tough up.
I find Monkeys annoyingly invasive and unnecessarily aggressive towards people.
In terms of animal creatures,
monkeys are probably the only type that would confront human and attack people without hesitation.
Dogs may get territorial, like hippos,
Cats don't respect humans as much,
but Monkeys literally just come IN your way with the intention to steal.
I just don't like them.
So I don't like how they dominate the temple sites more than the temple structures.
This place is beautiful though.
I was very glad to have come as my 1st site of this trip.
Bells are going off at one shrine, and the priest was chanting while ringing a hand-held bell.
and it was funny that there was a dog sleeping directly underneath the ringing bell.
It was so noisy with all the clinking and monkeys running around.
With the heat added on top,
this temple space felt more chaotic than it actually was.
Dogs seem to coexist in this area at the top of the hill.
They get really active at night, I later learnt when we came back again on my final evening.
But dogs aren't annoying like monkeys during the day.
They just laid there and slept.
The pigeons seemed more alive than the dogs.
It was indeed too hot for the dogs under the mid-day sun.
I loved the trinkets, artefacts and jewelleries sold here at the top.
The shops host a huge variety of beautiful crafts that I've never ever seen before.
My favourite was the metallic (brass?) handbags.
Had I been a suit-case carrier, I'd totally have gotten 1 of them.
But they're just too solid. It must weigh like 3kg each.
There'd be no way I'd get one of them, however much I want them.
When will I have the fortune to have someone traveling with me and carry stuff like this for me home?
I wouldn't mind if they come just part of the trip, and bring things like this back for me.
And let me go on traveling for the rest of the trip.
I just need a slave, who can carry souvenirs for me and take them home.
I bought 7500 Nepalese Rupees worth of jewelleries from this aunty,
and she still kept recommending more and more stuff to show me,
for me to make more purchase.
I told her to "Stop, aunty." "Aunty, stop! I got so mnay already!"
And she ignored me and kept going.
"Aunty! That's enough! Stop!"
I got thirsty from the up-hill climb.
There were quite a lot of stairs,
and it was mid-day by the time I walked all the way around the temple complex,
and through the back alleyways.
So i went and got myself a bubble tea.
After I left the cafe and walked out under the sun,
before I was prepared to take a good sip,
this monkey already flew towards me and landed on my chest,
trying to grab my drink.
I screamed instantly and it flew off and left me again.
I think it realised I wasn't holding real fruits or something edible.
It was a plastic cup full of food coloring and yam powder.
None of it was good enough for a monkey to be honest,
I wouldn't even feed it to them,
nor would I have chosen it over real fresh juice.
I only just started traveling,
and had been in NZ for 2 months before this for my home time.
I wasn't yet atuned enough to these naughty rascals,
despite having been in Phuket and had visited Monkey Hill,
where the monkeys were much more well-behaved and practically left the human passers-by alone.
This was a good warning for me to stay alert from this point on.
When these rascals are around,
it's important to always be always aware of their omnipresence.
They could dart out from any direction.
What I did find at this bubble-tea shop was that
Nepal has adopted QR code for payments.
I love that.
Even NZ is too far behind for this natural default digitisation of daily transactions.
Digital payments are sooooo convenient.
The Western World...
So called "developed world"...
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