Queueing up in Kathmandu never worked as well as they do in the videos below…never…really!
The following is a video of LPG cylinder queue outside an outlet in the city. It was posted on YouTube on November 5. It doesn’t say when it was taken though. The queue is loooooooong and really well organised!
The following video of motorcycle queue for petrol (gas) is by my mate Pete Pattisson, a fellow educator and journalist for The Guardian. The original video, published on November 6, is here. This queue is also looooooong and very orderly!
(I wonder if so many motorbikes being off the streets have reduced road-accident death rates in Kathmandu.)
The following video of taxis queueing up is also by my mate Pete and published on the same day as the one above. This one is loooooong too!
(The Guardian article where both the videos are embedded — the motorcycle one half-way down the article — can be found here.)
I must add that I don’t know if things are still the same…both the need to queue for fuel and their level of organisation.
But the queues were something to behold, weren’t they?!
Firstly, because Kathmanduites aren’t known for their ability or inclination to queue up. I don’t remember seeing such orderly and organised queues for anything in the city…ever. Just visit any establishment or office or joint where queues would help everyone and you’ll understand — Nepalese can’t and don’t queue up!
But I think I have found a solution! While those with “source-force” (money and/or connection) either have others queue up on their behalf or get what they need through their connections, with the rest, require them have a thing stand in the queue in their stead, like their shoes! I have seen that somewhere, though I can’t remember where!
Secondly, because drivers on the move on the streets of Kathmandu show next to no patience! Chaos rules the streets of Kathmandu! When on the move, the Mr. Hydes to these Dr. Jekylls take over control of their vehicles!
How else do you explain the practice of drivers letting their horns rip when in a traffic jam as if horns cleared traffic?! How else do you explain the evolution of a million-and-one use of a horn?! How else do you explain the “I got to get there NOW, RIGHT THIS MINUTE!” attitude and behavior?!
Maybe the explanation lies in our (Hindu) cultural belief in fatalism!
Having said that, for those in the video, queueing up as they did, didn’t seem to have worked that well! You heard how, after lining up for three days, the taxis got just ten liters (two and a half gallon) of petrol (gas)! So you see, whichever way you look at it, queueing up never works (so) well in Kathmandu…never! 🙂
But, as we in Nepal don’t tire of saying, “Ke garne?! Yestai ho!” (“What to do?! Such is life!”)
What do you say? What do you think?