First and foremost: this does not refer only to Nepali people, but people in general, including moi. Though, I find it more prominent here, probably because I am unfamiliar still with people, customs, normality. I most likely keep my eyes open for all the funky things going on around me that I wouldn’t even blink to back home. Regardless, let me share my, what I consider, vast knowledge of people. Though I presume it’s nothing but a bunch of obvious observations.
1. People are always in a rush … to get nowhere
I see this a lot around me, especially in traffic. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, wants to be the first one to reach the intersection/traffic light/roundabout. And it’s not because they’re in a hurry. No no. It’s because they want to be the first in line. As soon as they are done overtaking you in an overly treacherous manner, they will slow down to about a turtle speed and bask in their success. Now they are full 10 centimeters in front of you. Win!
Bikes will drive a motocross of a sort to squeeze between you and the bus to your left; will risk their life in the process, and will then pull over right in front of you, block your way, and get off the bike. They will then walk away towards the chia shop so slowly that you would think they recently had a hip replacement surgery. Well, they obviously weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere on time. Just wanted to be in front of you to show they are better (maybe, or something to that extent !?).
People on bicycles want to get in front of you through impossibly small cracks even though you will overtake them again in several seconds. Fellow shoppers will look for an opportunity to cut the line and get to the register before you do even though you have one product and they have hundred and one.
Perhaps people in Nepal do this because the population is so large they are simply forced to push and shove their way everywhere. But who am I to make such conclusions? Not an anthropologist over here (though I took one undergrad class in it, does that count?).
2. People are
very extremely adaptable creatures
You give us electricity, central heating, running water, premium infrastructure, we’ll be happy. Makes sense. You take all those things away from us, we’ll complain and grunt for a while, but then we’ll be happy again. I really need to give credit to Nepali people – they seldomly complain about things and they make something out of nothing. No light – no problem: let’s bring on the generators and diesel and make those lights shine again. No running water – no problem: let’s haul huge barrels on top of our roofs, fill them with rain water and let the gravity take care of the rest. No central heating – no problem: let’s wrap ourselves in blankets, light up some candles and drink hot water (may or may not have some whiskey in it). No gas for the car – no problem: let’s just walk everywhere, it’s healthier anyways.
People can adapt to anything, and Nepalis are stealing the show in this category. Good on them.
3. People are
curious nosey wherever you turn
No matter where you live, you must’ve come across curious people. Oh let’s all be very honest. We all are curious, nosey people. Yes, you too. If you live in an apartment building you run to peek through the peephole when you hear commotion in the hallway. If you live in the house, you discretely peep through your curtains when you see your neighbors buzzing about. We’ve all been there. On one or the other side of the door/curtain. We all know the feeling. But Nepalis are taking it to the next level. Just like I explained here, or Nepalilovestory here, there is hardly any privacy in Nepal. The interesting thing is that people actually always want to know things about you – they are genuinely interested in you. Sometimes it feels really nice. Other times people just openly stare at you. Like for example, if you are a white girl driving a car in the middle of Kathmandu, or shopping by herself in a grocery store. There is no escaping curious looks and nosey questions around here. People want to know everything about you, and the more they know, the more questions they have. One good thing is, no matter how shy or introverted you are, Nepalis will make you talk. Good hosts!
On a downside, there is no thing you can hide around here, no matter how hard you try. Somehow all your embarrassing stuff you buried deep inside you, will surface as a result of Nepali questioning strategy. I’m starting to think they would make really good detectives. Maybe CSI should have a new season: Kathmandu. I think I’m onto something here.