Let’s Talk Politics

“History is made by those who break the rules.”

I noticed straight away after riding across the border that there were no cars in Nepal. I am on the one highway that goes through the area, yet there are only pedestrians, motorcycles, cyclists, and of course, a few ox. Oh, and army trucks, an awful lot of army trucks. Though I probably should have realized that was unusual, once you are on the road for enough time, you stop being surprised by anything. Turns out this wasn’t normal for Nepal though, and the reason there were no cars, buses, or trucks, is because Nepal is “closed.” Though I had heard this from a few Indians before arriving, when those same people are the ones telling you that Nepal doesn’t have any mountains (guess Everest is yet to be discovered!), you take everything with a grain of salt. Turns out that they were right on this one though.

For the past five years Nepal has been without a constitution. This election is very important in hopefully addressing the politic instability that has come from this. Two weeks before the voting began, the alliance of 33 opposition parties who vowed to disrupt the polls lead to a nine day transportation block, which is why the riding was absolutely wonderful for me. Though there was a bit of violence before the election began, this road closure was set in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

After the roads opened up and the counting began, there was a great celebration in the town I was staying in since their area won. This involved a parade with at least a thousand motorcycles with flags, and best of all, dozens of buses absolutely crammed with people inside, and more impressively, on top. They were throwing red powder, playing music, and chanting as they road throughout the country side. It was the kind of sight that sent shivers down your back, seeing that level of excitement and celebration from just about everyone.

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