There are many new roads in Kathmandu, the oldest of which is named “New Road.”
New Road begins at the Tundhikhel Parade Ground, and plows a broad swath through what has become, such as it is, downtown Kathmandu. I steer my old clunker – a Chinese-made “Flying Pigeon” with tassels streaming from the handgrips – through the brightly painted arch, and glide by the district of the gem shops; past the American Cultural Center, which used to have pictures of the Space Shuttle in the window but now shows photographs of Ronald Reagan felicitating the stiffly self-conscious personage of His Majesty, Sri Panch Maharaja Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev; past the pipal tree, beneath whose spreading branches are stacked piles and piles of newspapers issued by banned political parties; past one-hour photo finishing, 21 Flavors Ice Cream, cows lying complacently in the road as traffic swerves around them. And in the windows of the tour agencies I can read the brightly lettered signs saying,
LIVE ANIMAL SACRIFICES
EVERY TUESDAY AND SATURDAY!