I returned back to my hotel a little earlier than usual. Sitting in the hotel lobby was a Nepali friend, Asha, her 2 girls along with a couple of other people. She told me to join them; they were going out to buy tea. I thought she meant they were going to get a cup of Nepali chai but actually they were going to a tea shop for loose leaf organic tea. We were on foot walking near Durbar Square. After two stops where they made small purchases we ended up in Durbar Square, a crowded tourist destination, directly in front of a sign that read, “Freak Street”. Back in the day, foreigners would come to Nepal for cheap drugs and Freak Street was the place to be.

My friends broke open their purchase and inside was a Nepali food speciality called panee pooree (I hope the spelling is correct). This dish consists of hollow balls of dough about the size of a golf ball. They are crispy on the outside, thin and empty. You break a little hole in the top so you can force a filling of herbed mashed potatoes into the center. Then you pour in a little orange colored sweet sauce followed by a watery, very spicy hot sauce. The whole thing is popped into the mouth otherwise the liquid will spill everywhere. This unusual concoction is really tasty. My friends were laughing hysterically because it was the first time they had ever eaten food on a busy street. Once fortified, our little band went shopping for the next 2 hours.