In contrast to my last piece about volunteering, I thought I’d share a few trivial thoughts I’ve had since arriving in Nepal a few weeks ago. It’s a country I’ll be honest I knew very little about before coming here, save for the earthquake news.
Here are just a few things I have noticed while in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.
– There are cows everywhere. Since the country’s official religion is Hinduism, the cow is regarded as a sacred animal, and so are largely allowed to wander around the streets doing what they please. This means definitely no beef burgers…
– The only discernible rule of the road is drive on the left. And even that is not always adhered to. The streets of Kathmandu are awash with bikes swerving all over the place and lorries barrelling towards you. Somehow though, it works…
– Beer is expensive. Despite almost everything being a fraction of the price it would be in the western world, beer is still roughly the same price as it is back home. And there’s few to choose from: mainly Carlsberg, Tuborg, or San Miguel.
– The Premier League appears to be popular, with the old big four the most visible clubs; Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. I’m wearing my Tottenham shirt a lot in the hope of raising awareness of the mighty Spurs.
– Despite it being an ancient symbol of auspiciousness in Hindiusm and Buddhism, it’s still extremely startling to see the swastika emblazoned on houses, gates and signs around Nepal. It’s strange how evocative a small symbol can be but I still get a chill when I see it here – which is often.
– The beheading of goats on a street corner is never a sight one gets used to.
– Nepali cuisine mainly revoles around rice, noodles or potatoes. Those on the Atkins diet may find it difficult.
– Nepali men are very complimentary in the gym. I have been complimented on my “nice body” in the gym a few times now. It’s symptomatic of the friendly nature of the Nepali people – but it’s still a little strange…
It’s the friendliness though that makes this place so wonderful. The people always greet you with a smile, which is not something this cynical Londoner is used to.