The last 2 days I have not been able to go to school due to a bandh. A bandh, a Nepali word meaning ‘closed, is a form of political protest. From my little understanding of Nepali politics, I am actually on the side of the strikers. It is crazy what the government is proposing. They are currently trying to create the new constitution and the government want to divide the country by caste. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
The whole of Kathmandu has come to a standstill. No one works, the shops and restaurants are closed, no transport except for push bikes and some young boys on roller blades taking advantage of the empty ring road.
I walked into Thamel to meet my friend. It is actually lovely having no smelly buses, no tooting horns and no dust clouds on the roads. I had to walk pass two picket areas, mostly young men. I saw one motorbike get mobbed since it ignored the bandh. It is unusual sight seeing most of Thamel’s shops and restaurants closed. My favourite restaurant was still open; however when the protesters walked passed we had to be locked in. All the shutters drawn, the main gate closed and customers that potentially could be seen from street level had to move out of sight mid meal. It is slightly frightening hearing the chanting outside. During one of previous trips to Nepal, a French restaurant had all its windows smashed because the owner ignored the bandh; however this time the protestors pass with no incidence. The joys of living in a politically unstable country!