Lazimpat chaos or a weird shortcut to progress?

Tings Tea Lounge

A well functioning island in a sea of chaos and disorder.

After being away for almost six weeks we were very happy to be back at Tings: to see how well everything have been managed while we were away, and to feel the new vibes in Lazimpat – we have the coolest staff in town 🙂

Kathmandu had seemed very far away after first a short holiday with friends in India and then intensive travels in Burma (i you consider going to Burma don’t hesitate to call us for inspiration).

At least it was not cancelled

The first reminders of how chaotic Nepal can be hit us already when we arrived at the check in counter in Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok:

Nepal Airlines was delayed…again!

That happens all the time. They may be cheap – but delays and cancellation are inconveniences you have to add to the price.

The second reminder came at Tribuwan International Airport. Not only did we arrive around eleven pm – more than four hours later than expected. We also arrived to an airport that was almost broken down. The luggage band didn’t work – and according to all the employees – standing every where with their hands in their pockets smiling – it had been like that for hours… Or maybe even days according to all the bags and packages that were piling up all around us. Bags that travellers had given up waiting for and just left.

Tribhuvan Airport around midnight - what a disgrace.

Nobody did anything to solve the problem that just got bigger and bigger. Someone should change Naturally Nepal to Typically Nepal 🙂

We were lucky – we got our two bags relatively fast – just to be received by the horrors of horrors. The taxi drivers!

These greedy vultures manage to pass by the security and starts attacking you already inside the arrival hall (unthinkable in rest of the world) with ridiculously high prices and lies about the availability of the cheaper meter taxis we know exists if you continue walking 50 meters once you’re outside.

Tribhuvan International Airport is a disgrace for Nepal. And the persons in charge should be kicked out and replaced by a commercial thinking and service minded company that have the guest in focus and not the bribe money they can get their hands on, the next dal bat meal etc. Why not give the management of the airport to Radisson – they do an excellent job with the restaurant and lounge in the departure section….

The positive thing was finally sitting in a cab driving through an empty Kathmandu – around midnight it takes only 10-15 minutes to reach Tings in Lazimpat – even more positive to see how the municipality has started breaking down houses and walls on Lazimpath Rd. to give space to a wider and hopefully more appealing and modern road.

 

Lazimpat Road is one of the most important roads in Kathmandu – and the future up town with all the fashionable houses, cafes, malls etc that’s under construction.

Police surrounding our local Blue Bird Supermarket - protecting people against...hmm? Actually we don't know what they are doing 🙂

 

Off course it’s sad for all the people who’ll have their business ruined because of the construction. Our local supermarket Blue Bird has to move or rebuild, Lazimpat Gallery Cafe has already closed down, Jazz Upstairs have to look for a new venue and the newly renovated Mahagutti Handycraft Shop will be removed completely.

One of our first favorite hang out... RIP

 

Sad, really sad!

But on the other hand: they have known about the project for ages – for more than thirty years it has been illegal to build closer than 7.5 meters from the center of the road. Everybody have just paid ‘a little money’ to a guy in an office to get the permission to continue what ever they have started.

Sorry guys - your wall is 15 cm too close...

And how do we know that?

We know because we had the same problem when we build Tings. When we took over our house in Nursary Galli in the front side we only had to improve the condition of the front house. Something that was relatively easy and cheap and fast to make.

Or so we thought!

When the renovation was almost finished and the rooms ready to get furnished we got a complain from envious neighbours who told us that the house was illegal – it had to be at least 3 meter from the middle of Nursary Galli. Ours was only 2.7 meter – 30 cm too close. We had two options – break the newly build house down and move it 30 cm. OR do as some neighbours suggested pay 10.000 NRP to the guy in ‘the office’.

We chose to break down and rebuild…

And we’re glad we did. Changes and renovations give new energy and new ideas (Tings got a new two-storey front house). And that is exactly what will happen in Lazimpat – or is already happening.

We have been back in less than a week – and already found 3 new super cool bars/lounges, new super markets/shops etc.

We’ll try them out and post our comments on these pages asap.

So stay tuned 🙂

Thomas and Annette

One thought on “Lazimpat chaos or a weird shortcut to progress?

  1. Hey TogA

    Welcome home – I must hear about your Burma trip at some point.

    It is sad to hear they are tearing down Lzmpt. I DON’T agree that a modern road is a good idea, all you will get is more traffic, more tall buildings with glass facades, more shopping malls, less small family shops, less street vendors, less human scale space.

    My fear is that what happens there is what has happened most places in the world where city space is remodelled in the name of modernity – which is that it becomes modern exactly, meaning efficient, sleek and shiny, made in the image (of the idea of) US. Normally not places suitable for people 😦

    Well, anyways. Hope you enjoy being back and hope to see you soon
    Rasmus

    Like

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