Saturday, February 16, 2008

Anarchy!

Two nights ago a young man made an inappropriate comment to a girl who was being escorted from a party... something that happens far too frequently here. The boy who was escorting the girl took exception to the comment. Ultimately, the boy who made the comment killed the other boy.

Rumors started flying...the murderer has killed many people before and served a small amount of prison time...the murderer is part of YCL (Young Communist League), but the rumor that got everyone excited was the murderer and his father were enjoying tea with the police in their canteen on Thursday.

Corrupt inept police, no electricity, no buses, no cooking fuel, water shortages...it was like a powder keg. This incident was the match. Thursday night it exploded. Hundreds of young men took to the streets around the police station which happens to be next to our house. There was a battle...the protesters with bricks, the police with tear gas. We went to school Friday after getting word that things would be quieter...the word was wrong. The protest started mid day. The school bus could not run and the school released the small children to their parents.

We waited a few hours and got word that things were clea
r...the word was wrong again. We walked a young boy home. We got halfway home and we saw a huge crowd of very young boys running in the streets. Shit...must be running from violence. As we got closer, we found they were running from a man wearing a costume and a traditional mask. They were having a celebration! It seems impossible to stop the celebrations.

We got close to our home in Durbar Square and we could hear the noise.
The little boy was visibly shaken. Somehow I always feel like things will be ok. We kept trying all of the back alleys to get to his home which is close to ours. At every turn there was boys throwing bricks and tear gas.
We went down a hill to get around the violence and there was a mob 200 or so boys 150 yards away throwing bricks at the police. The boy was really afraid and I noticed he pee'd his pants. I put my arm around him and told it would be ok. Being a dope, I truly believed it.


Thankfully Bhaktapur is full
of these tiny alleys that a little boy would love to explore. He found a way to get around all of the violence to our house. We released him to his visibly shaken mother and sister.

Along the way, we had run into a Canadian guy we had dinner two nights before. He was trapped and could not get back to where he was volunteering, so we had him in for safety. We have no elec
tricity, no gas for cooking, and had just run out of drinking water. Thankfully we had gin so everything worked out ok. We went to our roof top to see the action which was on both sides of our house. For hours the police would shoot tear gas, charge the protesters and ultimately fall back for awhile. I made a short video which gives you a feel of how chaotic it was.

video
While we were on the roof, the protesters retook Durbar Square and were trying to throw bricks over our house at the police. One did not make it even close and hit our window which for some reason did not break (the pic below is the big smudge of a brick on our window).


Later in the day the protesters lit a building on fire about 100 yards from our house. When the fire engine came, it was stoned and the windshield was smashed. The building could not be saved.

There was a curfew from 7 pm last night and people followed it for the most part. Unfortunately one boy did not and the police shot and killed him.

Things seem quiet today, but there are too many boys out for my liking. I think they are mostly looking at the widespread destruction in town, but you never know.

Yes mom, we are being careful...do not worry (its in the mom and dad job description so I am guessing this is a stupid request).

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