I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about the game frogger, but crossing the streets of Nepal often feels like I am the frog in that game. Traveling here is quite the adventure. If there are road rules, people don’t follow them. Stop lights and stop signs don’t really exist. Well, there are some stop lights, but they don’t light up. I don’t say this to criticize Nepal, but to share a different way of doing things because here there are barely any car accidents! My host dad told us that people here are much more in tune with what is happening on the roads, and that they know how to drive in this type of environment.
I remember the first time our host dad showed my roommate and I how to get to class. We approached a dirt road with thousands of cars zooming by, and I felt as if I was about to cross the Red Sea. As the motorcycles, buses, and cars swept by, I learned that I just need to start walking with confidence. I put my hand out, and the cars will avoid hitting me. It’s amazing because after a few weeks of feeling the wind of vehicles, I’m not really phased by it anymore. After we cross the road, we make our way to class through small streets filled with more bikes, cars, dogs, and people pulling fruit carts. Despite the chaos of the vehicles, the dust flying all around me, and horns honking, I find my walk to and from school quite peaceful.
Traveling by car and bus is even more of an adventure. Since the roads are mostly made out of dirt, they are very bumpy! One time when I was riding a bus, we hit a bump in the road and I flew up so high that I almost fell out of my seat.
There are always surprises when traveling. Whether it’s avoiding hitting the cows that sit in the middle of the road or feeling the adrenaline as our driver passes people on winding mountain passages, I have learned to give up control and just enjoy the ride. I love getting to travel on buses for hours on end because I get to see so many beautiful parts of Nepal. It’s so fun passing by all of the multicolored and beautifully decorated buses, wild animals in the remote villages, and of course the vast mountains emulating countless shades of blues, greens, and yellows.