traffic marshals of tomorrow
this project was inspired by a little road accident i had earlier in the day. i was on my bike, heading off to interview the deputy inspector-general of the traffic police (poetry in motion, if you ask me) when some nepali chap stepped right into my path. he did check traffic before crossing the road alright – he was looking for oncoming vehicles on the other side of the road.
i swerved to my right but still struck him a glancing blow (my left shoulder connected with his jaw). because i was going downhill i did not hit my brakes immediately, as that would mean a 10/10 somersault, possibly straight to heaven, on my part. after the impact, i fell over the handlebar, rolled and landed on my behind. damage? not a single scratch or bruise on me, only that my lens filter (as seen in the first picture above), which was on my lens and loaded facing down in my backpack, cracked. 100 bucks gone but considering that the damage could have been a lot more extensive – peanuts, i say.
this incident is one in a whole spate that illustrates a recklessness that permeates the psyche of road users here in nepal. you can follow the rules of traffic down to the tiniest jot and tittle and still get into an accident. i thought about the episode a lot today, and as much as i’d like to say that i have to accept some of the responsibility, i can’t.
after the collision the fellow walked away, rubbing his jaw and quietly mumbling to himself, knowing full well that what happened was his fault. i had a field day screaming at him in the middle of the road, amidst the hee-haws and disbelieving gasps of a few nepali aunties. i got back on my bike, thinking that this incident will wake jawbroker up and that he’ll take more care.
at least until he starts getting complacent again.
thanks to my buddies and fellow ‘kings of kathmandu’ for helping and participating in my fool’s scheme.
for more posts direct from nepal, click here.