Words of gratitude
Often in our daily lives, we tend to take stock of things that frustrates us easily. For example, layers of dust that covers us, smoke and pollution that engulf us, taxi drivers unwilling to go on a meter, long traffic jam due to VP and VIP sawari. It is not surprising because commuting is never an easy job within Kathmandu valley. For many of us, even during off days, four walls inside our home feels much safer and less worrisome than going out so that we can give ourselves a break from all the city hustle bustle and polluted air. Occasionally, invitations from friends and relatives might also become burdensome. You just wish not take your feet out of home and escape the irritants.
We repeatedly complain, whining about what we detest and wish for the other way round. In the meantime, we forget to be grateful for good things around us. I have realized that we Kathmanduities should learn to appreciate and be grateful to whatever goods we have around us. Over my daily monotonous commutes, I have realized that Mahanagar Yatayat and Traffic police in the valley deserve our utmost respect.
I commute a long distance from my home to work. Normally other public buses take about one and half hour for me to get to my work. But Mahanagar yatayat covers the distance in half the time. In addition, bus fare is cheaper. Likewise, Mahanagar buses are clean and comfortable even for those standing up.
I compliment Sajha for many reasons too. But its size is so big that someone standing at the back of bus has to elbow through so many other passengers to get out of exit door at the front of the bus. It might be due to immense popularity of Sajha or convenience of people who would otherwise have to change (get off and get on another vehicles), most of the Sajha buses are immensely crowded which at times feels very suffocating especially during rush hours. However, no matter how crowded Mahanagar bus gets - it is not that big ordeal to get off the bus even though you might be crammed somewhere at the end seats. Constant tracking and follow up from management seems to work well on making bus staff (driver and bus assistant) alert and mindful of time. On top of everything, it is good to see female staff on the bus. Because of all these good reasons, I have seen people letting go off other vehicles and waiting for Mahanagar. They wait patiently with assurance that waiting time will be compensated by quick travelling time to the destination.
I commend the operator, management team and bus staffs for making my daily commute easier. I hope it inspires other transportation service providers that we public deserve better.
Likewise, one fine evening I was waiting for my husband at one of the junctions of ringroad. Suddenly a motorbike and microbus ran into each other. Everyone's attention was drawn by that incident. I was hoping and praying everyone was safe without any injuries. Meanwhile, I saw a traffic police sprinting off to the accident spot like a swift wind. He ran about 300 meters within couple of seconds.
If that incident concerned anyone the most, it was that traffic police officer. He ran as if someone of his own family met with the accident. While I fear to get on the road and travel in bus to avoid exposure to dust, pollution and noise, these officers are exposed to it all day long.
Just the other day, a picture of a traffic police clearing the road in heavy downpour got viral in social media. Somebody tweeted saying "You are the only one making us feel that there is presence of state." Ironically, I was scrolling through social media at the comfort of my home when it rained heavily outside. Although vehicle users often find them at odds with them, traffic officers are perhaps among government officials who deserve our most respect and polite words. With years, they have also become more polite in their treatment of people, especially drivers and bike riders. We should learn to give them back the respect and decent treatment they deserve from us.
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Thailand is a developing country. But it seemed like a developed country at first sight. It is hard to believe that Thailand is a developing country. There are big buildings, and clean and broad roads. The city is clean with no trace of pollution.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.