Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Nepal isn't easy

There’s a lot to like about Nepal, but there’s also quite a lot that’s just a muddle. I have mentioned in a previous post the power shortage and the daily blackouts. Partly the lack of electricity is a result of the lack of rain, which normally fills the rivers that turn the turbines. Ironically, the lack of electricity is now threatening an even greater water shortage. In the absence of rain, the local water authority relies on ground water, but without electricity it can’t be pumped. As if that weren’t problem enough, there have been daily political demonstrations in the south and as part of their campaign against the government, the protesters have blockaded the roads from India and the capital is now short of petrol, with massive lines of cars nightly at city gas stations. The government yesterday began armed escorts of tanker trucks through the blockades and the armed forces themselves will be distributing oil to prevent price gouging and civil disturbances at petrol stands.

That’s how Nepal works – or doesn’t work. Like the manager of the internet café said this afternoon when I asked if was willing to pay for my pants. I was in the same place last week and sat at a desk just high enough to squeeze your legs under. A nail protruding just a couple of millimeters snagged my pants, not enough to rip them, but still enough to warrant letting the manager know. I sat at the same desk today and snagged another pair of pants. The manager said he actually tried fixing the nail but just smiled when I asked if her was willing to replace my torn pants. “These things happen sometimes. This is Nepal,” he said.



Post a Comment