Scenes of life in Nepal

When my friends from Moscow came to Nepal for the first time, the first thing they were impressed of on the road from the airport was of the local butchers'. "Look, an orange pig!". In amazement and excitement they yelled, snapped cameras and shoot on video. The pig looked indeed orange, but this is not some special kind of local pig of this colour. The matter is that the skin of the animal is rubbed with with a special mixture of mustard oil, ashes, lemon juice and turmeric powder, which actually is the cause of the bright orange colour. This procedure protects the meat from drying out and wrinkling, and also it repels flies.

Whenever I come to the Boudnath stupa there is always this old lady sitting at the entrance. And always she is busy counting Nepalese rupees. Perhaps, this simple procedure brings piece to her mind.

Hunting is in progress...not wolf hunting, as you might guess. Such scenes are quite common in Nepal, especially in the areas where poor people live. However, interestingly enough, I had never seen men doing this in the open. Maybe to solve the problem they just shave their heads. And though the anti-lace stuff you can buy in any pharmacy, many prefer this traditional, reliable, proven to be effective and above all completely free method.

In Kathmandu you can have your hair cut in different places – in 5 star hotel’s most expensive and prestigious salons; in middle class beauty parlors that are scattered about the town; in cheap street barber-shops. But also like that – just straight in the street. There is a tent above to protect from sun or rain, a soiled mirror attached to the wall or to the pillar, a chair and simple tools – scissors and a razor. Have to say that I’ve never seen a woman or a girl using service of the street barber. It is only for men who think it is stupid to waste money on hair cut. And it is good because it gives those poor people chance to earn at least some money.

There are many such shoe repair spots in the streets of Kathmandu. Though looking not that much promising as a matter of fact they can make old shoes look like new again. Usually the master sits on a wooden box or a stone with his simple tools in front of him. But this particular guy sat against such a bright colourful background and used no less colourful umbrella that all these together made a perfect picture.

From time to time I see these guys on the streets of Kathmandu. They sell folk medicine that include (according to the words of the sellers) aromatic oils, massage oils, herbal powders, tablets and whatever else. Of course they don’t have any patent or license and you can’t be sure what it is really inside the bottle you’re buying. The sellers promise help from almost every disease. And of course they find customers. I don’t know, I have not tried this stuff myself (and hope I will not have to), perhaps some oils really can help with headache or rheumatism but I would not risk taking anything orally…

Many things change in Nepal: new modern houses are built, new modern cars appear in the streets, and new modern computers replace outdated ones. And only one thing seems always be unchanged – garbage collecting. Same old way: workers of the environment organization visit houses and collect garbage from there. Then the collected garbage is left in the main streets. Later a tractor comes (sometimes not every day) and a couple of workers load the garbage with spades or sometimes even with hands. Any progress in this area one day?

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