To Kathmandu

typing this blog postIt’s Sunday, the power is down, I’ve got a hangover, the sun is shining… What better time than this to writing down a summary of my Nepal adventures on my lovely XO (laptop).
For the uninitiated: A few months back I got obsessed with this cute tiny laptop for kids developed by this organization called OLPC: One Laptop Per Child. It’s aim is to give every child in the world a laptop. Needless to say they didn’t quite reach their goal, but the laptops are in mass production and in a number of countries pilot projects are underway .
There’s one of those pilots on the way in Nepal, the implementers of which are OLE Nepal. And to my surprise they needed Squeak hackers. My first impulse was to apply, and through laws of cause and effect, my ass is resting in Kathmandu. Or Patan to be exact. Patan being the city of what was once a rivalling kingdom, now grown towards Kathmandu so much that the only thing that separates them is the river in between.
I’m not a well travelled person so already my way here was quite fascinating. I went via Doha, which lies in Qatar, and in Qatar everybody is a millionaire. Thanks to… yes… oil. And since all millionaires, when they become millionaire instantly are struck by an incurable disease that prohibits them from doing manual, blue-collar, or in general perceived to be boring work, all labour needs to be imported.You, being the well informed reader you are, of course knew this already, and so did I. But it’s different to read about it in your wisdom tome which now lies in front of you on your salon table, then actually being there.

I got the distinct feeling of being in the navel of the world. On the plane the stewardesses were mostly east-Asian, with a bit of Nubian mixed in. The cargo handling personnel seemed to be mostly Middle Eastern, while the people that did stuff with my ticket were mostly west-Asian. And then there were these important looking people in white robes. Those must have been the millionaires, shedding upon us an air of untouchability; doing what millionaires do in a country with only millionaires as members of the feast.

And oh, how tempting it is to at this moment describe the culture shock between Qatar, being one of the richest countries of the world, and Nepal, a country that has suffered from an internal war for, what?, about 10 years or so? Half of whose inhabitants are unemployed. The biggest industry of which is concerned with NGO type stuff (or were the people who informed me just in jest). But I will refrain from such cheap story bridges. It is for lesser mortals to yield to such temptations.


2 Responses to “To Kathmandu”

  1. 1 marja
    February 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Dank Ties! Je hebt volledig aan mijn wensen voldaan. Heerlijke verhalen! liefs.

  2. 2 Hanna
    February 27, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Kul att du skriver! Fortsätt med det! Det låter galet, trevligt och intressant i Nepal. Hälsa:)
    Puss och kram

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