(2) How to get home?
Still one moment, will light up the green light, and miss-moving transport column, will arose a thorough noise and clouds of dusts in a main road of Kathmandu.
Kathmandu city in peak hours, when the streets are filled with transport blockage, does not differs much from any other cities of the world. Should make great efforts in early hours of the morning to get to the workplace, and in the evening, when the city is wrapped in darkness, – to get home. Eastern temperament and behavior of people on the street, is drastically different from Western standards.
It is sometimes surprising, observing public transport and pedestrian mutual understanding, which are often about hair’s breadth away from an accident. However, Nepali is not the one who will transform their frustration in an open aggression. In most cases, the mutual incomprehension is smoothed with a smile. Once is getting darker, the streets filled with transport and everyone is trying to find a place in small buses or on the bike, three even four passengers on it. Traveling on a bus rooftops in cities, is prohibited, however, as soon as the bus leaves the city limits, the travel style changes slightly.
Sometimes on the bus roof sits more passengers than a bus cabin. In case, if the police caught, then the driver is imposed harsh fines. But sometimes, in the absence of witnesses, may agree to pay in cash. However, the ingenuity prevails, and the moment when the bus is approaching a next police post, the passengers quickly jump off the roof, and the distance past the police post, carrie out on foot. Once the post has vanished from sight, passengers climb on the roof of the bus and continue to travel.
Very responsible period for the police are Festivals and the Pilgrims. This is the Nepali sacred duty, to visit their relatives and friends. No power or rule will halt Nepali from this obligation. Seeing the crowded buses, it seems that they have taken over by obsession. Sometimes things are overestimated and a trip goes out of control. Traffic police are completely powerless in these days.
Pilgrims feel happy only when the destination is reached. The city however, is kept at a certain etiquette rules, governed by the law. Passenger bus doors must be closed at the time when it starts driving. However, if the rule is ignored, then after the policeman’s orders, the machine must be parked on the roadside and the driver is fined. Small khalasis who collect money from the passengers want to make money and do the opposite, by encouraging passengers to board, even through all the holes.
How, in this case, be charged for the tickets is not really clear. Maybe someone still trying to escape without a it – but it is not a Nepali style. How much to charge per kilometer is not really clear. However, seeing foreigners khalasis usually ask to double the price or more. City and inter-city’s bus tickets are so cheap that foreigners do not pay special attention to them.
During peak hours, the seats are impossible to get. The key is to get into bus, no matter how, and to get the door shut. Otherwise horsemen police chases and shout orders to the passengers “Close the door!” No sympathy or priority are taken for the elderly and women. It is a real rich show of emotion, chaos on the wheels, which arrangements are understandable only for Nepali.
(1) On the road again…
Those who have enjoyed mountain road unforgettable landscapes, breakneck twists and turns that brings surprises around every bend in the road, they will know how wonderful yet dangerous mountain roads tend to be.
If you are back in Nepal, then do not be surprised that those path which you saw before, no longer exist. It is not man-made, it is a surprise created by nature. After month of rain that comes in late autumn and early spring, most of the geography of the road has changed. During the rain periods under the soil builds up a huge water pools. The soil is full of rain water, it becomes heavy and forms a landslade. Over this period, driving on the roads must be very careful, because the landslide may surprise you unexpectedly.
On the road, and again on the road. The experts know to tell of their experience, that the most dangerous roads are in Cordilleras Mountains US. Other adventurers certainly will agree, that they are the Himalayan Mountain roads in Nepal. What hazard categories they fall to, it remains to each individual’s point of view. However, all undoubtedly agree, that the level of risk is equally high in both geographical areas, especially in the rain period. Over this time, which lasts during the winter, from November to March rainfall is increased. Nepal with China are linked by an important road artery. Day and night on the roads moving lorry columns. They almost always exceed the weight of the load, thus constituting a dangerous precedent on the roads. Mountain roads are narrow. Barely enough room to change with an oncoming lorry. Often lorry column lines are so long, that distort the overtaking maneuvers to faster traffic moving as cars, coaches and motorbikes.It is difficult to predict what the next bend in the road show. Lorry drivers generally do not respect the mutual driving distance.
At that moment, when the overtaking maneuver has been carried out, and behind the bend in the road suddenly appears oncoming trucks, you no longer have where to escape. At that moment, it will be difficult to rein in overloaded trucks. It is also one of the reasons that make up accidents. However, it is not the only cause of accidents in the mountain areas. They are large precipitation, during the Monsoon, which creates impassable mud pools on the roads. As well as landslides, which sometimes bury in the houses, dam on the river and block the roads. These are uncontrollable forces of nature, that can surprise any moment.
Driving along the canyon, where one side of the road are steep cliffs overgrown with shrubs can expect a surprise. The soil drenched with rain water becomes severe. Of passing trucks, cause vibrations as a result of heavy layer of earth begins to collapse. Where yesterday there was a road, now there is a completely different picture. Sometimes traffic between villages are cut off for weeks, and the road home, must to go on foot.
Surprises in the mountains will be met at every step. If visitors promises to appear in a certain time and yet delayed, Nepalis will not take it to the heart, because he knows Himalayan natural vagaries.