“The Waiting Place…”[…] “No! That’s Not for [me]!”

As a people, the Nepalis are some of the most patient in the world…granted, a lot of the times, they don’t have a choice!

But put them behind the wheel….

That is partly why driving in Kathmandu is an endless source of amusement! You MUST appreciate the entertainment value in what you see and experience while behind the wheel in this metropolis! 😀 The other option is not viable, if you live in the city and drive, even if just occasionally!

(The other sources of amusement on the streets of the city are: the way the police (try to) manage the traffic, the roads themselves, the road signs, the way the pedestrians behave etc.!)

The kind of driving I came across a few days ago, far from being unusual, is actually THE norm on the streets of Kathmandu!

The difference was that I made a record of it and am reproducing it here.

On the streets of #Kathmandu, there is but one rule: there are NO rules! #Nepal Click To Tweet

Approaching a crossroad, I came up to stalled traffic, obviously waiting for the “go signal” from the traffic police manning it. So, I drove up behind the last vehicle, hit the brakes, stopped and waited…as one does, or as one is supposed to do…unless you are in Kathmandu!

That red car you see in the photo below, of course, didn’t!

1. Red car 09.56.46

It drove right past me, on the wrong side of the road and, of course, the predictable happened! (Yes, this is a two-way street.) As you can see, the white car beyond the culprit and vehicles behind it are now completely stuck, in turn probably halting the flow of traffic at the junction, delaying us all!

The green jeep, an army vehicle, whose front end you can see a little of on the bottom right corner, drove up next to me, obviously on the wrong side of the road, and was obviously also thinking of doing the same…but hesitated.

I held my tongue and didn’t say anything, even though the driver was within earshot, because I was having a little too much fun watching and recording all this unfold!

(Besides, had I asked why they were going down the wrong side, I would have probably gotten the answer I have gotten in the past: “Everyone is doing it!”)

In the mean time…a motorbike joined the red car!

2. Red car followed by a motorcyle 09.56.23

The army jeep continues to hesitate as you can see in the photo below, while the biker has barely started backing up.

3. Red car followed by a motorcyle & army jeep 09.56.26

The hesitation didn’t last long though. The temptation, I guess, was too much! It forged ahead, as you can see in the photo below, to join the motorcycle and the red car even as the biker continued backing up!

4. Red car followed by a motorcyle & army jeep 09.56.29

All the while, the red car did NOT budge!

But before it got more interesting and amusing (for me!), traffic started moving and I was out of there!

If you didn’t know, on the streets of Kathmandu, there is but one rule: there are NO rules! Horns rule where, when and how traffic moves!

While I argue that the brain of a driver is the most important “appendage” in the assemblage of a motor vehicle and a driver, many in Kathmandu would probably argue for the horn! 😀

As a matter of fact, those who follow traffic rules in Kathmandu are a nuisance to all other drivers…as I constantly keep discovering!

Regardless, pondering the actions of those three — yeah, I know what you are thinking — what I want to know is what went through their heads, apart from “everyone is doing it”?

What goes through the heads of such drivers…if anything at all?



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