Kathmandu in morning rush hour is a new adventure, every day. One may not wish for such on a daily basis, but usually adventure barges on us without giving us a choice to enter or pass. Neither did the elephant that suddenly stepped out on the road, causing us to swerve and miss its tusks with 30 centimeters (an elephant? In Nepal??).
Amidst the dust and exhaust and noise there are snapshots of life. Bus drivers whose job is to every day make the best out of the traffic.Dogs sleeping on the pavement, not caring one flying fruit that people step over them and car wheels pass them a meter away.People going to work, and mothers with children going to school or visiting relatives. Tuk-tuks running on cooking gas. And way too many motorcycles. One taxi driver said traffic has exploded in the past 20 years and that if nothing is done by the government to restrict traffic, 10 years from now, decent daily commute in Kathmandu will be impossible.
Today, street life in Kathmandu requires a scarf that covers a commuter’s mouth and nose. Tomorrow, the 7th most polluted city in the world may be a killer. But for a random project worker on allergy meds, today it is still possible to spend time discovering treasures of life (opposed to discovering one’s black lung in a clinic) – as long as it is not a clear winter day.Kathmandu, Nepal; November 2016)