I arrived in Katmandu upon leaving the airport terminal I was instantly involved in my second biggest security worry. Overly anxious Taxi drivers grabbing and pulling at me, and my bag all vying to get the 2-dollar Taxi fare to the Backpacker area of Thamel surrounded me.
I do not think of Katmandu or never remember Katmandu as being this pushy, more of an India thing. However, who knows, it appears or feels like tourism is at a low; the only ones that seem to be here are coming from India. I do not know actually, this is just speculation; however, you can see India written all over the other Travelers.
I am staying in a Guesthouse owned by a French guy; he is out trekking, when he returns I will bleed him on the status of Nepal.
His wife is happy, she says,
- No King Power -
I have been here three or more before, nothing seems different yet, however the main road leading into Thamel need repaired. It looks like Katmandu after a large rainstorm. It seems to be raining a lot here.
Nepal just has a semi-coup or somehow the protesters in the country convinced the King to re-install a democracy of sorts. My experience with this type of thing, I was in Ecuador 10 days after a Coup is this, the people do not want to talk.
My experience is this, you have political parties, while in many countries they will mud sling or say anything to try to say the other political party is a crook. In the lower level countries they try to kill each other, this is more or less a fight between political parties and for a normal person, all you have to do is not get involved and you are fine.
People get involved because they want to be part of the group that is extracting large amount of money from the people. Nepal is already double taxed. The King and the Maoist were both extracting or taking money.
Asking too many questions can be dangerous; however, I will slowly work some of my old friends in Nepal to find out the skinny. I would says,
- Meet the new boss, same as the old boss -
As the rock group - The Who - said.
Whatever the case is they need few months of quiet out of the spotlight so the big money tourist will return. Luckily, they are rather stupid, na�ve and have short memories.
Gaza is a prime example or a comparison of the same type of crap above in Nepal. The Fatah and the Hamas are having gun battles, nothing to do with the Israeli people; it is the two corrupt political parties of the Palestine people. Politicians fight over who gets to control the money.
This is very strange. One thing I found in Nepal was there is no shortage of political opinion to be shared. If people are suddenly quiet, I am concerned. The only time Nepalis would not talk about politics was when they thought the police or maoists were watching.
The owners of Via Via Café at the top of Sat Ghumti Road are belgians. This place is a cafe, bar, nightclub and hostel. The food is okay, so I would maybe go there for a meal and see if they will talk to you. Europeans love politics, and will not stop talking about it unless someone has a gun to their head.
I found at the airport people were desperate to carry my baggage from the cab to the door. It is maybe 20 metres. I just say 'I will not give you money' and they laugh and go away.
I think you are right, they are becoming desperate for money. I found this when you enter a shop, they do not want you to leave without buying something... a lot more obvious than normal. They will drop prices much more than they will in India, because small profits are better than none. Although, I try not to exploit this.
I can imagine things have only got worse since I came home in early March.