durbar marg taxi showdown

Yesterday, I was on the way to the Fulbright office via taxi with Kerry and Raj when we hit a lot of traffic.

At first, we didn’t think anything of it, because after all, traffic is pretty much the norm here.  We were also right near Durbar Marg, one of the main streets in town.  It could be any afternoon in Kathmandu.

However, when our taxi was motioned to pull over, we realized that something may not be normal.  Luckily, Kerry’s Nepali is far better than mine so she was able to pick up on the conversation that was going on around us.

Turns out, it was other taxi drivers that had pulled us over.  They were staging a strike, trying to stop all traffic in all directions.  Being another taxi driver, they expected him to pull over and join in out of solidarity.

We took that as our cue to pay the fare up until that point and get out.  After getting out we realized how large the strike was.  Taxis everywhere, with the drivers standing outside.

After taking a few photos, we continued on our way.  We didn’t want to be there if anything got out of control.

In today’s paper, there was more information about it.  Turns out the taxi drivers were striking against the police who were cracking down on them for illegally tampering with their meters…..

Taxis all in a row
Some of the madness, taxis blocking traffic
Kerry, posing in front of the traffic that was caused by the strike

photos (c) Bethany Meuleners

 

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