Tag Archives: getting around


Yesterday was our first day in Nepal. It was mostly a day to recover from the long flights and 13 hour time change, but we did walk around a bit and explore the area near our hotel.

One thing about being in a new place is that your competence regresses. You’re used to being an adult, but suddenly there are a lot of basics that you just don’t know how to do.

So yesterday was our day of toddlerhood.

For example, we needed to learn how to walk down the street. In Nepal, they drive on the left. We figured out that also means that people walk on the left too.

Our hotel is in the super touristy Thamel area of town, so the streets right around here are filled with tourists and people trying to sell you stuff.

We ventured out to a garden a few blocks away from the main tourist section. The streets are very narrow, so you are always passing somebody, and usually also being passed by cars and mopeds.

So, we were trying to apply the “pass on the left” rule. But as tourists, people would expect us to get it wrong, so there was this sort of double fake out as we all had to guess how to walk past each other. We were as bad to walk past on a sidewalk as toddlers. But we were paying attention and learning.

Eventually we realized that the pass on the left rule isn’t very solid, it’s just the default. But of course people don’t walk down the street thinking about how to walk past people. We do that automatically. Except when we travel, then we have to learn it again.

Our other adventures involved learning how to eat, use money, use the bathroom, and even knowing how to find the right floor on the elevator (the ground floor is floor 0 here). So it really was a day of developing basic childhood competence.