Poor Nepal

I’ve seen poverty in many of its shapes. I was born in Eastern Europe and I’ve traveled to some very poor parts of Asia, but it was the poverty from Nepal that stroke me the most.

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From all the countries I’ve been to, Nepal is the only one where electricity is not available during daytime. I remember one time, while in Kathmandu, I had a headache and I wanted to drink a cup of strong coffee. I was happy to find an Italian coffee shop, but I couldn’t buy any coffee since it was only morning and electricity was not yet available. I guess they were only selling coffee at night when electricity was available?

Nepal doesn’t have electricity 24/7 because it’s unable to produce enough of it for all of its citizens. People are usually improvising during daytime by using gasoline-powered generators, and that is one of the reasons why Nepal is so polluted. Other reasons for the massive pollution also derive from having an underdeveloped economy. It’s such a pity that in a country with amazing landscapes like Nepal, you are unable to see the mountains because of pollution.

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When we were halfway between Lumbini and Pokhara, our bus took a night break. In the place where we stopped, there were barracks-like shops where people were ready to serve the tired and hungry travelers. That place was the Nepalese equivalent of 24/7 drive-through.

Those people were selling all sorts of goods, cooking omelets, instant soups, and sandwiches. The price for an omelet or for any other good was ridiculous, less than $0.5. This is poverty when you willingly stay awake for an entire night to sell goods worth no more than a few dollars.

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When we got to Pokhara’s bus station, several people popped up and started competing in offering us the lowest price for a night in their hotel. Before we knew it, the price for a room for two got to $5 a night and they were willing to go even lower than that. Although we could have continued to negotiate, we decided to randomly choose one of them and go to the hotel. After getting there, we realized that we were the only guests that hotel had.

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These are just a few stories that can illustrate the situation in Nepal, but seeing the dusty roads and the poorly dressed children is really more than enough to understand how impoverished that place is. There are many reasons for this poverty, but I’m not going to discuss them now. I’m only thinking that it’s only the calm and peaceful nature of the people from Nepal that prevents things from getting nasty there, but maybe it’s also this calm that is holding them back from enjoying more prosperity.

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When I left Nepal I took a flight to Abu Dhabi, but the plane had to stop in India to get fueled with oil, as Nepal was going through a fuel crisis.  

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