Lessons in Nepal (1)

The bus.

Taking the bus in Nepal, is an unpredictable thing. But well, that’s the case for many things in this wonderful country.
When you have a certain destination in mind, and a time that you’d like to arrive there, add an extra half hour to your planning, at least.

You enter the bus (carefull! you’re taller than the average Nepali) and you look for a place to sit. This can be a bench, or any other kind of surface that no one is sitting on, yet. Don’t be too critical.
Yes, you’ll be stared at, and no, that’s not because there’s toothpaste on your chin. It’s because you’re white, that’s why.

When the bus starts to drive – wait. Don’t expect to find a bus time schedule anywhere. Bus times? The bus leaves whenever it’s full! And full, that’s a relative thing. A little hint: when you think it’s full, they can fit at least 12 more people in it.
Ok, the bus starts to drive. A guy with a hand full of money will approach you. You’re supposed to pay him for the ride. Make sure you ask a trustworthy local what you should pay, before hand. When you give him your 10, 20 or 50 rupees he might pretend that this is what you should pay. But you should get your change!

Because you’re not used to the Nepali streetview, it’s hard to locate where you’re at. Maybe part of the reason is that your sight is blocked by a fake leather purse that’s poking in your eye at every move the bus makes, and the belly of woman who has never heard of a personal bubble.
How do you know you arrived at your destination? At every stop the conductor will get out of the bus and as long as he still yells (for example) “BAGAR! BAGAR! BAGAR!” you know you’re not in Bagar, yet.
By the way – the bus won’t go unless it’s full again. Patience is a virtue.

You can always ask a local if you’re in Bagar, as well. The avarage Nepali is very kind and willing to help (and yes, the average Dutchie can learn from that).

You get out. Careful! You’ll hit your head more times than you’d like.

You reached your destination.


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