I have been driving motorbike for over 5 years now (my own bike, that is). And here are some of the frustrating moments that I have experienced on the roads of the Kathmandu valley.
Spit on my face:
People do not have manner, especially those who are inside a bus, van or truck. I have had several rounds of spit splat my face (as I do not like keeping visor on the helmet, I feel claustrophobic). Imagine that – having drooling spit of some asshole on your face, on your clothes.
Most of the times, I shout “oye.. mach**ney.. aakha chaina tero” or flip my middle finger. I have even tried spitting back to a Micro-bus driver. That asshole!
Incessant Horn on the Red Light:
This is a pure harassment. You are on a Red light. There are several bikes and vehicles ahead of you, and there’s a pile of vehicles behind. As soon as the green light turns on, the vehicles behind you start honking their freaking horns. What the hell is the matter with the drivers! Once I have turned back, gave a nice stare to a Taxi-driver and shouted at him – udeyra jaa mach**ney (go fly over me motherfu***). There was even a lady traffic police cop on the side of the road.
Interestingly, I have noticed that I curse a lot while driving my bike. Hehehe hehehe.
Mircobus le baal dincha:
This must be the most common situation a motorbike rider in Kathmandu faces almost everyday. A motorbike rider does not need much time to figure out that other vehicles will dominate you – “especially, micro bus haru le kasto hepera chalau cha”. You need to over take, so you honk your horn and expect the vehicle ahead of you to give you a little room so that you can pass by. Rarely that happens. If it’s a mirco-bus ahead, you will have to bully yourself forward or else the micro-bus driver rarely gives a damn about you (or in Nepali – baal dincha!)
Traffic Police Officers are only there when you break a law:
It has happened to me. In all these years, I have rarely been stopped by a traffic police officer and being asked to show my driving license and other papers. Twice… I had gone out forgetting to carry my wallet (that’s where we normally keep our driving license) and the most unthinkable had happened. I was stopped on the both occasions and since I couldn’t produce my credentials – “ticket” was the only evident fate. They charge you freaking Rs. 200. Those assholes.
Once I had an accident with my class mate Shruti Shrestha (a photographer of the Kantipur Daily) at Jawalakhel chowk, and there was no traffic police around. By the way, she was driving, not me.