Chiyaa, rice, load shedding, bandha…What do these things have in common? That Nepal wouldn’t be Nepal without them.
Today I experienced a real bandha. It literally means ‘closed’ and can be anything between busdrivers not working to a complete strike of shops, restaurants, and public transport.
So I wasn’t sure at all if I’d be able to get out of Kathmandu.
If you want to know something in Nepal, ask 20 Nepali’s, and draw your own conclusion. My conclusion was that I should be able to get a taxi to the busstop, and that the bus would definitely go since it was a tourist bus. But I was wrong.
I did manage to get a taxi, who took me near the busstation for 5 times the regular price. Empty streets, police, army, and every now and then a UN truck driving past with high speed…it didn’t look so relaxed, but the locals weren’t worrying so I wasn’t either.
The bus didn’t show up. I wish they had told me this the other day, when I talked to them on the phone! Next dilemma: how to get back to the guesthouse? Taxi’s weren’t anywhere to be found, and to walk for 3 hours with my luggage didn’t seem very appealing to me. I asked a random guy who was just chilling out at the little shop I was sitting at, what I should do*. He thought about it for a second, then offered to drive me there with his motorbike. Sweet!
Tomorrow the bandha is over, and hopefully I get to go ‘home’…
*this is something I do regularly here…ask random people on the street which direction to go/what to do/how something works. Based on my experience, I think this is the best way to get where you want…but only if you apply the 20 Nepali’s – rule ;-)