In case you missed my earlier post, Kathmandu, Nepal will be our new home starting Summer 2013. Dates and details (many thereof) still to be confirmed. Its a long way off at this point, but curiosity takes over and I just have to find out more about the place. The first thing you have to do when researching Kathmandu as a new place to live is learn to spell it correctly. Its “Kathmandu” not “Katmandu”, a common error which google predicts but other places can bring up some limited results.
I did quite a bit of research beforehand while we were bidding on the 27 locations on the bid list. We could only bid “low” “medium” or “high” on locations, but had to bid on them all. High or medium bids are by no means guaranteed, but it pays to know what you’re getting into when you bid high on somewhere. Kathmandu was on our high list, it checked all the boxes regarding work preferences and practical family needs. And for the first time, schools were not an issue — Kathmandu would be have been a non-runner if I had to look at the quality of the high school — and we were free to focus only on work and lifestyle issues. We are VERY happy to have this location, but it isn’t without its challenges. Leaving work/finances out of it, here’s a short list of pros and cons to calling Kathmandu home:
The weather. No…its not cold. Of course, it gets cold when you go up into the higher altitudes, but the city itself is temperate. The weather goes between 55 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Not bad. And it will be nice to have real seasons again after the year round sweatfest that is Manila.
Visitors. We’ve watched lots of people’s eyes light up and run to Travelocity to find out the price of the tickets. (The Philippines is a wonderful place to visit but doesn’t hit some deep, subliminal notion of romantic travel like Nepal does.) I expect that a few will actually come!
The three main cons are all matches of the issues that are starting to grind on me in Manila: Pollution, traffic and lack of infrastructure. And now we’re going to do them again…really?!
Pollution. I hear its pretty bad. Some people have been surprised to learn that Kathmandu is polluted given the Himalayan location, but its in a valley and the smog gets trapped. Apparently you can only see the majesty of the mountains just a few days a year.
Traffic. Maybe not as many cars as Manila, but the driving is worse, if that can be believed. Perhaps because there’s a few ox carts thrown in there as well. I hear that its not that there’s so much traffic, just so much bad driving that the roads don’t function.
Anyway, the decision is made and we’re excited. Now somehow we need to put this all to bed while concentrated on our Manila lives and slowly transitioning to this new reality.