An emotional blog: Tourists are coming, economing is about to boom! Thank you Democracy!
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
I know I had said I would be away from computer from this afternoon but this addiction never goes away easily. I am in Thamel and early in the morning tomorrow, I would be driving to Beshishahar. I am compelled to write something after I went around Thamel, one of the most happening towns in Kathmandu. And I am here to compare Thamel, the tourist hub in the capital city with another equally vibrant town called New Road. The Dashain fever has gripped both of these places. New Road at 6:30 PM was quite and calm as almost all shops were closed and Thamel, at 9:20 PM, is still busy dealing with hundreds of Goras and Goris from abroad.
In the last several days, we have seen Nepal Television and Kantipur Television that are brining in the voices of Nepali youths who have returned to their homeland after years from hard jobs in Gulf countries and Malaysia. “I have come to Nepal in 3 years,” said one young man. “Why?” the reporter would ask. “To celebrate Dashain,” he said. “I have heard that the environment is good now.” He was talking about peaceful atmosphere in the country that we have been observing since late April. Thanks to historic Peoples’ Movement. Nepalis have returned to celebrate, to be with their loved ones. They have now gone to their villages that were turned into battleground until a few months ago.
Thamel, my favorite hangout spot in Kathmandu, is elated to host so many tourists in many years. Hotels not only in Thamel but also in the whole of Kathmandu are booked almost to their full capacity. Shop owners are busy dealing with their customers. I bought a few things like trousers and jackets for trek purpose. I talked to them and they said the number of tourists have increased. So is their business. The credit goes to Democracy and the political change that we saw in April. There is no fighting and every one is happy with this. Yes, you tend to be emotional but the fact is that we are already seeing the democracy effects in our life. There is a kind of confidence in business community and once Maoist extortions are stopped completely, that would propel growth. That is why, I emphasize, it feels good to wear a t-shirt that says Democracy rocks!
Tourism is also rocking, thanks to democracy and peace. Today I met some foreigners who were more than eager to trek in different parts of Nepal. Talking about trekking, let me quote Narayan Wagle, a celebrated journalist and writer, who once said in award winning documentary “Bheda ko Ooon Jasto” that every Kathmanduits should trek even if that is short one. That will help economy run properly and give an opportunity to the traveler to learn about the country more. This is the time for foreigners to come and enjoy the beauty of Nepal. Come and trek!