Sunday, 30 September 2012

Life in Kathmandu

My personal reflections , having been here for the past  4 years.

Toilet  paper is a luxury here . One  always  has to buy locally or bring enough from home country to make it last . This has caused consternation among some of the volunteers from abroad, especially if she is here for a few months. Imagine running out of toilet paper  unexpectedly ! Its just not bear thinking about ! :-o

Nepali business people are no different to the Chinese. We bargain for everything. They will always want the  first deal of  the day to be successful, symbolising  a good trading day to follow . So this is the buyer's best time for a very good deal.  :-)

There are 3 types of road surfaces in Kathmandu according to the Ministry of transport. They are black topped ( tarmac I think )roads , gravel and rough roads/paths. More often than not, its the gravel road, which are the rat runs that the taxi drivers go on to beat the traffic jam on the  black topped roads.. With multiple pot holes on almost every gravel road, the taxis tended to become ' bone shakers' for journeys undertaken. It could be viewed as a form of loose  massage in some quarters. I must admit I often feel quite  loose- limb ed after a taxi ride, quite therapeutic......:-ll

Like the Chinese, the Nepalis firmly believe that it is better to get rid of unwanted body fluid  (phlegm included ) than retaining it  in the system. hence the  spitting wherever they happen to be. It is a real challenge for the poor government to try to educate the populace through health education, and the implications of spreading diseases etc through this behaviour.
Malaysian government had to ban the practice with  fines imposed. It took years before it was understood and accepted by the population  :-(

The laws  of the jungle operate here  on the roads in Kathmandu. It is a fact that there are too many cars for the roads around town. It is the survival of the fittest, or rather the bravest, in terms of nosing your vehicle out in front of everyone else's with sudden jerks and stops. It is a nightmare for pedestrians trying to cross any road. No one would stop for  anything. I have developed a very powerful car stopping  wave. I have noticed that cars always screeched to a halt whenever I ventured across a road.This is one useful skill I have acquired  in Vietnam.. The key thing is to walk purposefully, try and eyeball the driver closest to you, then the cars/motorcycles will weave around you. I must say it is being put to good use almost on a daily basis. :-))

Lighter moments, I do hope you find them useful for your future trips here in Kathmandu

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