Taxi Drivers for Obama

November 9, 2012

in Nepal


Every time I get into a taxi this week, the driver chats me up for a moment and then asks, “America is having its election? Who are you for?” Taxi drivers in every country I’ve ever been to seem to be the nexus of political discussion. When I answer Obama, each and every driver breaks into a large grin of approval. “Oh yes, Obama is a great man!” “Yes! Obama is very good!” When I ask why, I get answers like how he’s concerned about small countries, how he doesn’t want to have war, and how he’s increased services for Americans who are unemployed. Nepalis, as usual, are keeping up on American politics.



While we’re in the taxi, let me mention that the Kathmandu traffic police are cracking down. If you are caught drinking and driving at night, it’s a 1000-rupee fine (about $12), which is significant to your average Nepali. If you are caught drinking and driving in the daytime, it’s a 5000-rupee fine ($60)! I suspect that’s because there’s more traffic in the daytime, so it’s more dangerous to have drunk drivers on the road, but maybe it’s a judgement of when drinking is inappropriate. Who knows?


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