Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Traveler Diary

by Judy the Hun

Sept/Oct 2011, VIEW 40: Human trafficking is alive and well in Nepal. God, I witnessed it firsthand myself and haven’t slept well since.

Six weeks ago I attended a cultural event to bring attention to the increasing problem here in Nepal. The problem exists almost entirely within arab states like U.A.E., Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Dubai, etc. This Article: http://bit.ly/2jCBg3K

They target poor women, many from rural villages and offer them domestic positions in foreign countries. These woman, lured by the prospect of money and a better life for themselves and their family, go only to discover that they are there for sexual gratification only.... Their passports held by their captors....most never survive or have the means to return.

The male dominated Nepali government usually turns a blind eye. However, two weeks after this cultural event the newspaper did report that seven women had died in the U.A.E. that month and the news got a little press.

"I did nothing. The world does nothing. Do these women mean nothing or is it just women in general who mean nothing?"

A week after that I was off to customs to collect my highly-taxed computer cord. As I refused to pay the 10,000 rupee tax they were demanding, I realized I was going to have to resort to to the regional method business of bribing folks.

Customs in Kathmandu is HUGE. As I waded through the paper work and the scumbags trying to squeeze me for money, a forklift began assembling cardboard coffins at the doorway.....cardboard that was leaking fluid .... After 30 minutes seven were stacked in the sun outside the customs doors.

Many people became hysterical, one woman became quite ill. Out of curiosity I wandered over and was met by the hideous smell of death and the shocking realization that the U.A.E. return addresses meant this was probably these seven young women.

I was dickering and pleading and negotiating for maybe 5 hours for my cord as these women’s families were waiting for the dead bodies. They had to pay a tax to claim their loved ones. When I left triumphantly at 5:30pm with my power cord I noticed one body remained. The carton, having sat in the sun for hours, was swollen and the stench was worse than anything I have ever known. Had no one claimed it? Had they not the means to pay the tax? I don’t know.

A week later I met a beautiful woman outside a restaurant who pleaded with me to have dinner with her and her boyfriend. She had an air of desperation about her so I agreed. My friend Mina, however told me I should not be seen with her as she was a prostitute and would be gone soon. That wasn’t her boyfriend but the man who held her passport. Mina went on to tell me there were four women leaving that night. At 7pm there was a commotion at the hospital and we received word that one woman had died and they needed a fourth woman for their passport and airline ticket. Shortly thereafter I saw the woman I had agreed to eat with being escorted to a taxi by an arab-looking man. I did nothing. The world does nothing. Do these women mean nothing or is it just women in general who mean nothing? I, honestly can’t figure it out...

Luxury Dining I just dined on a sheep’s head and I must admit it was gooood! I’m afraid I’m inching closer to them goat brains. lol... My friend Mina’s ex-mother-in-law died and she was required to go to the village and light the match. She then had to reside in the home for 13 days as a living goddess. No food, no cell phones, no touching anyone, no clothes only a white gauze debre in the village of Pharping ...beautiful place... a huge Buddhist monastery, Nepali culture I was told.

Sheesh! She got home the day of the Sept. 18 [2011] earthquake and two day’s ago her families home in the village of Kailali collapsed in an after shock. Holy crap!

"'I crossed the “ever been on the top floor of a very old brick building that swayed 25 degrees during an earthquake'... off my to do list...

I left my sunglasses in Pharping and my friend Gasha took me by motorcycle to retrieve them. We stopped by Kailali on the way home in time to see a second home collapse. If a tsunami hits or you’re Haitian, give up..... if you’re Nepali you suck it up; go to the temple, slap a little tika on your forehead and start clearing away the rubble. Hardy folks these Nepali.

Thamel, Kathmandu... I spoke to an engineer about a month ago. Neesha works for the U.N. and is overseeing the building of an eco-village north of here. He warned that Thamel would not survive a large quake. So it’s good the epicenter was 150 miles toward Sikkim.

Well, I crossed the “ever been on the top floor of a very old brick building that swayed 25 degrees during an earthquake”, off my to do list. Sheesh, 500-liter water storage tanks were flying off roof tops and as I gingerly made my way down 6 flights of slippery, uneven, cement stairs.... flower pots raining down on me.... all of this in an intense monsoon rain.

Most residents of the Thamel district slept outside last night rather than risk another quake. This morning I went for a walk....lot’s of broken windows, lot’s of pieces of broken mortar but not much other damage that I could see. I believe more damage occurred west of here by Koliki . My friend's family home was mortally wounded as the bamboo roof collapsed. Thankfully no one was hurt. Three people in this neighborhood died though and a few others over by the embassy... I think we were lucky.

– Judy the Hun

 This Article: http://bit.ly/2jCBg3K

Source VIEW: Sept/Oct 2011, VIEW 40

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