When night falls and tourists go to bed, at this moment each of them begins to clearly realize: no one respects him here, he is no use to anyone, the dust under your feet.
Because in order to go to sleep here, it is necessary to possess superhuman abilities, and tourists begin to think (not without reason) that all the Nepali try to make as much noise as they can, no matter what time of day. Any car or motorcycle passing through Thamel or Lake Side emits as much signalling as possible, either at 10 pm, or at midnight, or at two in the morning. The result is a continuous flow of signals, deadly inevitable.
That’s not all. There are also dogs living in Thamel. They live on the streets and on the roofs of private houses. And these dogs bark. In the evening, at night, early in the morning. They are many, and they are happy to explode with barking for any reason and without such.
That’s not all. There are merchants roaming in the streets of Thamel, in Lake Side, along the side “quiet” streets of Pokhara. They have some product and want to sell it, and for this purpose they … yell loudly and, unfortunately, often in quite disgusting voices. One after another. A lot of them. This yelling starts early in the morning – from 7, 8 am the stream is already underway.
That’s not all. Everywhere there are neighbours. These neighbours live here, and they believe that their life is so attractive that all tourists must be part of their family, and so they shout loudly any time of day or night, sing songs, train their still louder screaming children, enjoy their dogs barking, signal from their motorcycles and so on.
Also Nepali people like to build something. Construction may start at 7 am and end at 23 pm. Especially during the “off-season” (8 months in a year) – then the nightmare goes on in full swing. Everyone feels free to switch on a super loud generator, to use the loudest of available technologies. They do not care about finding some remote place to cut tiles (emitting absolutely terrible pervasive sounds) or to process wood beams (ditto) – the construction goes on right here on the heads of tourists.
This is not enough. If a tourist comes strolling through Thamel, he must every second dodge the signalling cars and motorcycles, many of which go there just in transit (!) – as on a highway.
And of course every seller try to shout something. At best, it would be “Namaste”, and at worst – something strange, but having a mocking and derisive tone. But even “Namaste” repeated thousand times may lead anyone into a frenzy.
Do not forget also the fact that many Nepalese including hotel employees have a morning habit to clear their throats with unbearably repulsive and far reaching sounds, which analogues I never heard having travelled through more than 50 countries. Believe me – every more or less civilized person will feel disgust and revulsion hearing such sounds.
On top of all these “amenities” it is worth remembering that the Nepali love political advertising on cars passing by (including tourist areas!) with speakers running at full volume. The speakers also emit music in case of some holidays, which are abundant in Nepal, including religious holidays or weddings.
Many restaurants in Thamel, and all the more in Lake Side believe that this world belongs only to them, and can play loud music for their customers’ entertainment until midnight.
About a year ago an indoor stadium was built near Lake Side – right in the midst of hotels. The Nepali love football, that’s fine, but do they really believe that tourists will become happier listening for several evening hours to loud referee’s whistles every 10 seconds in the Lake Side off-streets, which used to be more or less quiet before??
I do not want to dispute on religion – whether it is helpful or harmful – but I can definitely say: when sitting in my hotel I have to listen to the speaker reading prayers or mantras for many hours, my attitude towards religion becomes particularly aggressive. Cannot one pray to God without any speaker??
Among the attractions for tourists there is such an unusual and appealing one as flying trikes. I do not argue it is a great fun. But why fly directly over Lake Side?? After all, the sound of their engines is very, very loud, annoying, all-pervading. They start to fly early, at 8 am, and continue flying till night in good weather. Is it not obvious that such flights must be prohibited over those places where hotels and private homes are located?? Apparently, it isn’t.
Power outages are frequent in Nepal, so shops and restaurants in Thamel and Lake Side have to use generators. It is quite natural. The unnatural thing is that these generators are often put on the street to produce terrible roar and terrible stench there. Are shop-owners not able to cooperate and buy one modern and quiet large generator and put it somewhere else? Is it so hard to do?
All this is perceived by tourists as disrespect for them if not the contempt or even a mockery.
And do you seriously believe that tourists won’t hate such “recreation” when thousand-faced noise is endless and inevitable during day and night?? There are many countries in the world where acoustic ecology, especially in tourist areas, is on the highest level. Nepal can be any beautiful, but if a person is simply deprived of sleep… if he is continuously enraged with more and more hideous sounds, then what can be expected?
The Nepalese government and people need to make an evolution in their minds and gain an understanding that the tourists coming here should have good night rest, so at least in the tourist areas you must do everything possible to utterly minimize any noise, especially from 9 pm to 10 am. The achievement of this requires political will, a broad public outreach program and of course the firm hand of the law.
(In fact, the Nepalese themselves would benefit from stopping the eternal noise terror against each other, because acoustic noise is one of the major sources of environmental pollution. Research has shown that noise ranks second among health hazards after chemical pollution of the environment. According to Australian researchers, the noise in cities reduces human lifespan by 8-12 years.)