Now although Krishna is among the most common names in Nepal, there’s one Krishna you should keep an eye out for while visiting Kathmandu: the Krishna of Z-Street.
Well-known only through word-of-mouth among tourists, Krishna is an bubbly, elderly shopkeeper running a tiny grocery tucked in the Z-Street alleyway and an icon of the neighborhood. Him, his sweet wife and their children operate the store that sells an assortment of vegetables, fruits, snacks, drinks, souvenirs and even wak cheese.
As Thamel grows increasingly tourist-hungry (and greedy unfortunately), here’s one shop that’s retained the core Nepali hospitality towards foreigners. You’ll rarely pass by the open-fronted shop without spotting a tourist crouched inside sipping on some tea with Krishna and his family.
At first glance, one would not give the little shop much attention but once you meet the friendly shopkeepers, you’re pretty much family. A few times, I took them up on the invite for tea and spent some time inside the shop getting to know Krishna and his wife who actually come from a remote village outside of Kathmandu. Scattered along the walls by the cash register are passport photographs left behind by tourists as souvenirs and I bet Krishna remembers most of them by name.
If you’re ever in Thamel, give Krishna a visit and support his little business with your purchase of water, toilet paper, beer or whatever tickles your fancy. His prices are actually much better than the other stores in the area and he won’t try to rip you off. Plus, you can save on buying plastic water bottles from his refillable filter for around 10 rupees a fill.
Side note: One of my biggest regrets from the trip is that I didn’t take a photograph of Krishna and the little shop to better paint this story but perhaps this will be even more incentive to go and see for yourselves, right?