Having lived in three continents (Asia, Africa and Australia), whenever I return home, Kathmandu never ceases to amaze me. I am always astonished by the condition reflexes of the drivers and pedestrians. While walking on the pedestrian pavement one needs to exert ones gymnastic skills by jumping between one mountains of garbage to another construction heaps.
At times, the pedestrians might have to be taken to the hospital to treat their heart ailment or broken body parts after been knocked down by the motorcyclists who
conveniently have made the pavement their motorway, without being caught by the traffic police.
Planning my morning walks were mentally and emotionally draining. Instead of enjoying the mountains, the chirping of birds, I had to navigate all my sensory skills to avoid potholes, motorcycles, the garbage and water puddles on the pavement. Therefore, if you are lucky in your morning walks, you will reach home without any mishaps. Be thankful for living another day!
Having tried my walking skills, I tried to venture in a taxi. As soon as I boarded the taxi, I was shocked by the unethical behaviour of the driver who zoomed passed the zebra lines while a pedestrian was crossing. I asked why he didn’t let the pedestrian cross the road although it was the traffic rule. His answer left me speechless: “How can a pedestrian cross the zebra crossing when they see the taxi turning?
They should wait for the taxi to pass!” Bravo for being such a caring driver.
Taxis don’t even have seat belts and especially the Maruti taxis looks like a ‘khatara dabba’ which are in such dilapidated conditions that while driving, you are on the edge fearing the door will fall out. After this episode, I thought walking was more of a blessing than a curse; at least you could be the master of your destiny.
Dancing on the streets of Kathmandu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, maybe we should include this valuable information in our tourist brochures. I fail to understand why the ‘The New Nepal’ administration is still following the same old 50 years planning, coordination and working modalities in laying down the electricity and telephone lines during the monsoon seasons.
Thus, to maximise pedestrians convenience, the concerned authorities should avoid setting all telephone or electricity lines during the monsoon season, to stop spray painting one’s clothes with the sewerage and the mud and increase intra-departmental coordination.