Matt + Kathmandu = Mathmandu?

14 Sep 2008

Our NPR friend Matt now lives in Kathmandu, a city of infamous congestion. But like all systems of seeming chaos, he notes that:

…another way to look at traffic here is that it depends on generosity and an understanding of some very subtle self-enforced rules. The fundamental approach to driving requires quick reaction, distance perception to the millimitre, and lots of horn honking. If you’re a motorcycle or a car, you honk your horn on average three times per block. But unlike back home, honking isn’t used as a form of aggression, it’s more a courtesy. Like the way waitstaff in a fancy restaurant would lightly touch your elbow and say “pardon me.” In fact pedestrians here get angry if a driver doesn’t honk, because it’s seen as wreckless. Luckily, not honking is rare.


  1. 16 Sep 2008 Yianni Garcia

    Honking = courtesy? I don’t think I can roll Kathmandu.