Monday, October 01, 2007

4-6 Oct Strikes are off!

A blessing for the tourism industry, all Nepal lovers have been spared the pains of another 'hurdle' in the quest to discover this country. The general strikes which were announced by the Maoists throughout the country (read business and transport closures in the main thoroughfares of cities but nothing much elsewhere) have been called off. Read more about it here on

There are still other hurdles though. Regular rallies, some supporting the November elections and some denouncing them, some asking for an postponement, depending on who is making the call, has meant that transportation in the city is a nightmare after 11 am, generally the time when the Nepalese people have a hefty meal of Dal Bhaat (Rice with lentil soup and vegetables or meat) and start their political day. Young ones get on top of buses (generally without paying the owner of the vehicle) and chant slogans.

Here's a joke I heard recently, told by my good friend. As soon as Prashant Tamang (a young guy of Nepalese origin from Darjeeling in India) was announced Indian Idol 3 at about midnight some days ago, Kathmandu erupted into joy, and rallies were taken out in the middle of the night with chants of 'Prashant, Prashant...Prashant' ranting in the air.... very soon the joyous people got bored of the same chants and a new group started a new chant.... 'Prashant Tamang Nepal ko hoooo....' (Prashant Tamang is from Nepal....) .... this continued for a while until someone else started the extremely popular.... 'Gyane chor desh chodh' (Gyanendra thief, leave this country..)

It does not take much to bring us Nepalese to a political frevor. Pure boredom will do.

Jokes aside, the advisory then will be:-

There are time hurdles in Kathmandu. Thankfully all travel from Kathmandu into the trekking areas or other cities have early morning options. Take them. Do not wait for us to finish our meals. It then time for us to roam the streets feeling very politically aware.

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