KATHMANDU, Nepal — At some point between Durbar Square and Kathesimbhu Stupa, I was accosted by two local boys, probably about 12 years old, who were very friendly and proceeded to chat me up about where I was from, my faith and my impression of Nepal so far.
One boy seemed older and street-wise. He did most of the talking.
When it came to the topic of religion, the boy asked, “Do you believe in God?”
It was a curious inquiry, especially considering the wealth of deities that populate the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. He had used the singular noun.
To proclaim my agnosticism explicitly felt odd, so I shrugged and mumbled vaguely.
My answer didn’t seem to affect him, and the conversation continued unabated.
At one point, the older and chattier boy asked for a “donation” toward food, and I demurred. I didn’t have any Nepalese rupees on me, and I wasn’t about to hit up a cash machine with my two new acquaintances in tow.
“F— you,” came the reply, and both boys stormed off.