3:00 pm

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Time to leave the refuge of Kathesimbhu Stupa and continue exploring Thamel. The honking resumes as I walk along the street, keeping as close to the shops as I can. There's no differentiation between pavement and road here, and the larger cars can literally scrape you by as they pass.

I haven't the slightest idea where I'm going, but it isn't long before I find myself at what resembles a shopping area - "BISHAL BAZAR", reads a nearby sign. A superficial observation of the area is that there aren't any familiar brands at all - no McDonald's, no Starbucks, and most definitely no Forever 21 or Apple stores. Everything is 100% Nepali. Also the motorbikes lining the street are parked impressively close to each other. They seem to be daring me to tip them over like a line of dominoes.

Across the road, I spy a facade that looks strangely like images I've googled of Durbar Square. I can't believe I've just found the place by accident! Taking care to shadow a couple of locals in order to cross the road (honk honk), I head excitedly in the direction of Durbar Square.

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