5:30 pm

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As I am trying to re-trace the route I'd taken that afternoon I am approached by a sadhu, or a Hindu holy man. He gestures at my camera and asks me to take a photograph of him. I should've known, really, but I oblige anyway. He holds out his hand expectantly for a tip, and I am unable to find any notes smaller than 500 rupees (slightly more than USD5, which is about twice an average day's wages in Nepal). I give the note to him reluctantly and he beams at me, imprinting my forehead with some colored powder as a "blessing". A few locals standing nearby are wearing bemused looks on their faces. How easy it is to fleece Asians, they must be thinking. Sigh. And I thought I was a savvy traveler.

I walk away unhappily but run into a rickshaw driver who urges me to hop on the rickshaw, leaving only after I refuse repeatedly. All this touting can be annoying, but I suppose it's a way of life for them. Just gotta deal with it smarter from now.

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