When I recall Kathmandu, I remember just what you see in the video. Chaos and I won’t go so far as to say organised chaos. Somehow, some way, everything works and no one collides. The roads are free for all. As a westerner, and one who wants everything neatly organised, Kathmandu made my head spin.
Absolutely nothing made sense, yet I think I might want to return for more one day.
There are two things that vividly stand out in my memory. One, the overhead power lines. The power lines were like a tangled ball of yarn tossed onto a pole. What fascinated me more was the repairman on a rickety ladder seemingly engineering something. Seriously, how did he know what line went to what?
Secondly, traffic lights. Traffic lights are everywhere and at almost every major intersection in Kathmandu. None of the traffic lights works and they’re not even turned on. Why are there no major car or scooter collisions every minute? Do be aware – even as a passenger in a car with an experienced Kathmandu driver, you will be stressed if you pay too close attention to what is happening on the roads. I suggest deeply occupying yourself until you arrive at your destination.
True, this is a case of Western sensibilities attempting to project onto a land where the rules I know do not apply. I thought I was over-applying Western rules to the rest of the world. Apparently not.
Discover more about Kathmandu from an earlier post.