Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Ten things I like about Nepal


Every country has its pros and cons, tell me one country that doesn't. On some days it feels like our con men outweigh our pros, but such days are rare. That is why I get impatient with people who are always whining on about this great country of ours and needlessly hurting her feelings. One of the most uplifting things about being a Nepali in this day and age is that we know it is a kingdom with great potential. Potentially, we have the potential to be great, and that's what counts.

That is why it helps sometimes, for future reference, to draw up our own individual lists of what we like and dislike about Nepal, and as a sort of guide to remind ourselves of the little blessings that we take for granted every day. Here is my list over which I claim no intellectual property rights, so you can lift entire chunks of it and pass it off as yours. Here are the ten things I like about Nepal:

1. We smile through all our troubles, no matter how hard the times we always see the glass as half full because we know that things are going to get much worse and we may as well enjoy it while things are relatively better.
2. Nepal posted a 4.6% growth rate in the last fiscal year, everything grew: the deficit, the concentration of particles below ten microns at Putali Sadak, the number of days the country shut down, and according to a news item this week in the national dailies "the illegal flesh trade mushroomed". Or was it "the illegal mushroom trade was fleshed out". Whatever. Either way there was a 4.6% growth.
3. We have lots of holidays.
4. Free weight loss clinics for politicians. Former ministers protesting regression can now burn off excess fat by taking part in relay hunger strikes. We know it is hard not to eat for three hours, but hey, no pain no gain.
5. In a welcome development for gun enthusiasts, Kathmandu's discos are in the process of being converted into shooting ranges. Bouncers will give you a body search to check if you haven't inadvertently left your firearm at home. Residents of Chundevi living downrange are henceforth required to wear bullet-proof vests, helmets and anti-bacterial socks during the wee hours.
6. Mud baths. Only in the most expensive spas in the world would you pay an arm and a leg to get yourself covered from nose to toe in therapeutic volcanic mud to give your skin that younger, healthier tone. In Kathmandu, during the monsoon, mud slinging is free. All you have to do is walk along Krishna Galli and wait for buses to rumble over the puddles. Kathmandu's roads may have potholes, but they are paved with good intentions.
7. We never do today what can be done the day after tomorrow.
8. Eight down, two to go.
9. Um.running out of things I like about Nepal.
10. Oh, yes, Nepal Telecom's mobile phone system has some of the lowest prices in the world, my bill for last month was zero. The reason: I couldn't actually make any calls because the network was always busy.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)