I simply don’t understand

* Please be advised that these are just my thoughts and are not meant to offend anyone, make accusations, or entice revolt of some kind. I am pro-law and strongly urge everyone to follow the laws and rules of the country and respect leadership and authority. There you have it.

After this short intermission, we now go back to our tales of Kathmandu. I’m not going to lie to you – many a time I get frustrated. I get frustrated because I do not understand (famous line of the Husband but that’s a story in an of itself for another post). I don’t understand how Nepali people can be so indifferent to everything. Don’t they understand that driving in the preexisting lanes and following road rules will only lessen the traffic jam, not increase it? Why does everyone always need to be first on the traffic light when time is not much of a concern here anyways? Don’t they realize that letting someone go in front of you might actually help you move faster? I just don’t get it, and it gets me so frustrated. Sometime in the evenings as I sit in the back of the car being driven home, I just want to jump out of the car, slap other drivers, one by one, across their faces, and tell them they are idiots. OK, that might be a bit harsh. But I do want to roll down my window and explain basics of normal traffic to them. But then I look around and realize it would probably take me months and months to explain it to everyone, so I just give up and try to tone down my frustration.

Why aren’t the police officers exercising their authority in a harsher manner? They just stand there, waving their arms up and down without much effort in enforcing the rules. If they would be stricter, people would obey the rules more. Are they lazy, or simply indifferent?

Fighting traffic in Nepal is a life-risking challenge

Fighting traffic in Nepal is a life-risking challenge

One other thing I don’t understand is why Nepali people are not out in the streets. I mean, they are out in the streets; they’re everywhere, all the time. But, I am referring to protesting. This is a country that barely has any electricity, almost no water (despite the fact that it’s one of the water-richest countries in the world), no welfare or any kind of social security or services for its citizens. And this is all due to lack of good political leadership. Why aren’t people protesting? Why are they taking it so calmly? They are paying taxes, so why aren’t they out there demanding their rights? I don’t understand it and it is getting me very frustrated. I sometimes want to yell: “What is wrong with you people!? Get out there! Protest, demand, ask for what you deserve!” And, no, bandhas (strikes) are not the way to do it. They serve no purpose.

Speaking of bandhas, I don’t understand why no one is doing anything about it. They cripple the country. Because of them, businesses lose money, people lose their jobs, sometimes even their property and lives. Why is no one standing up and saying: “This is enough! This needs to stop!”? Everyone is complaining quietly, in the privacy of their own homes, mumbling something about how they hate walking to work. So, why aren’t people attacking bandha enforcers, instead of letting being bullied all the time? I don’t understand. I simply don’t understand. And it frustrates me.

Nepal is an absolutely beautiful country, sadly without any rules at all. What a shame!

14 thoughts on “I simply don’t understand

  1. Yeah its frustrating.. Nepal is somewhat like that the people dont care much abut politics. the ones they do gets punished or investigated.

    No matter how much we protest its the same thing, i think Nepalese believe that its juat better living that way then creating hassle in ones life.
    Cops are there just to get more money out of people, they don’t enforce anything, no warnings or anything they just try to take the keys or ur license. Evn if they do manage the traffic they are really inadequate at it.

    Nepals traffic is a bitch i tell you, jst plan sometime after or befor the main traffic (office hours) 9:30-10:15 am office time and 5-6 pm. Its a problem why people are jst living as it is in Nepal. when we should be protesting for electricity, water, basic rights.

    I love your blogs feels really good to read about my country from someone elses view : )

    • Thanks for your kind words – I’m happy to have you as a reader 🙂 As a Nepali you probably know best how things function here. I hope with all my heart that Nepal will be able to get out of the political and developmental stalemate and become an Asian tiger, just like it deserves to be. Natural and architectural beauties in Nepal are unique and stunning and I hope people learn to appreciate them more.
      What I’ve found quite often is that people don’t value their own life enough, and maybe that’s why they’re so indifferent towards everything. And no one can blame them – poverty and hardship took the best of them. At this point I feel like it’s up to higher instances to make good moves and help Nepal progress.

      • It can sure use some good progress.. Its a living hell right now. Everyday eveyones suffering. Hopefully in a few years it gets better.

  2. “Sometime in the evenings as I sit in the back of the car being driven home, I just want to jump out of the car, slap other drivers, one by one, across their faces, and tell them they are idiots.” – oh how often have I felt just that!

    The questions that you have brought up is a major issue in most Asian cities. People are so heavily dependent on the government and its rules and they are so blinded by it that they fail to see that the rich get richer, the poor die hungry and nothing was any different than yesterday and nothing will be any different tomorrow until they make a ‘move’. sigh.

    • Well said! Nepal is such s beautiful country and I often tell my husband it would be the most wonderful place in the world to live if only people took care if it. But without a good political system and rule of law, it’s impossible. I’m hoping Nepal would one day become a true Switzerland of Asia – it has all the potential. People just need to seize the opportunity.

      • True. I also believe the budding Nepalese are smart, educated and so much potential! Like today when I read the news, they are bench marking all sorts of fields and careers from fashion to business to art and literature. They are making ripples overseas .. but they are ignoring what they can do for Nepal and its ironic because they are very patriotic people in general. Even those born and raised abroad.

      • Yes! Many young educated and ambitious Nepalese are in Nepal as well, but as it happens in any country, their potential is suppressed by power- greedy people. Which is a shame, because Nepal could really use young forces to progress.

      • I guess its the same story with most third world Asian countries. They follow a live and let live policy. So there is no awareness raised and no actions taken which is no progress.

  3. That is my feeling every time I go to Nepal. Even simple thing like getting a visa, making a new passport is a dram because of stupid people who work in government and government office. I have fought with them because they make us wait while they are talking nonsense with each other.

    Don’t even get me stared about traffic. I seriously think Nepal need someone strong and good in government soon otherwise the country will only go down in our lifetime.

    I have always hope the country will be better while growing up but looking at all this now, I kind of gave up hope.

    I know it is harsh but being born and lived there for a while, it is the reality which I have to accept now.

  4. you will driver yourself nuts if you try to arrange the world there according to the order which makes sense to you. people in ktm live different reality than the one which you have seen and by the way thats the only reality they know.they follow path of least resistance or path of natural outgrowth given the constraints.

    Some 20 yr ago, a person i know came to kathmandu from village and went to take a taxi. He tried to enter from the window as he did not know there was a door. Well, now newcomers to ktm dont do that anymore. But it will take decades before they start to know civic sense and traffic rules. Besides who cares when there is a shortcut.. if someone comes from village to become a taxi driver in ktm, he wont probably make a living if he starts to respect all the rules. therefore police turns blind eye and the driver does what he wants.

    As to bandhs, you would say its better to have some bandhs than some baddies or jatis running around with a gun for a revolution ( ie situation a few years back). during insurgency they used to scare children in ktm by saying that if they are naughty, commies were going to take them to the forest…

    you are falling victim to the chattering class of ktm, who just sit and complain and whine. get out & talk to others who dont share this view

    • I appreciate so much you sharing your opinion! It’s always good to be introduced to the ‘other side of the coin’. I try to be objective in everything here, especially given this is not my country, but sometimes it’s hard. So thanks for opening my eyes to different views.

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