October 29, 2010

Life along the journey to Pokhara

Nepal is considered a less developed country, it was judged as a comparison mostly set by wester standard such as wealth, income, consumption of milk and meat and etc, education, life expectancy, public watrer and road system and so on - all quantitive terms - in order to make out something more abstract such as happiness, quality and spiritual and so on.
I am coming from somewhere in between, educated in Taiwan and live in Thailand, travel to US or Europe for business or tourism often but also reached area of much less developed, and I thought I have a slightly more understanidng of all this.  But I am not quite sure.
If I adapt how the western point of view to judge what I saw in this 6-7 hours trip from Nagarkot to Pokhara, I might conclude that not only that Nepal is less developed, it is also less diversified.  Thet ear all the same of limited variety of good, they live with less material so in a way all Nepali house (or sometimes less than a house) all look quite similar. But if I were to use a different perspective, then perhaps I need to stay longdr in order to make out of it.  So I use the camera to record the images, so anyone sees the image can determine what he or she thinks.
Here, a Nepali woman at work, put loads on her back.  I don't know what it is inside the bag, but I can tell it is heavy. And where is the man?  Or they man needs to work on something a lot heavier?
And this appeared to be a small happy family, and judged from their house, this is much above the average.  Or do I agaion just apply the western value to them?
And as kids all over the world, do they know the difference?  Or we teach them to tell the difference the way we think it is?
As if our tour guide afraid of us feeling the journey is uneventful, we eventually had to stop in a small town for tire repair. Since we have to stop, I then carry my GF-1 and wandered around for some more shots. Just next to the tire shop where our driver got the tire repaired, a small restaurant became my target, and I found some kids playing poker there - and book-keeping their marks - suggesting they are gambling?
Also a short video clip here for the little restaurant and kids playing cards.

Continue to wander around - tip: move your legs in travel! So you find something else.  At least this is what I do. With a small camera such as GF-1 + 20/1.7, I can be ultra portable, and will be ready when I stumble on a target. And so I found my little model here, in fact just next door of the restaurant, a well dressed and even nail colored little Nepali girl, gave me a welcome and somewhat shy smile! A rich kid, I supposed.  And another tip:  you can always ask your subject (kindly) to help you with the picture.  Yes, there are situations that you need more spontaneous shot, then you fire away with instinct.  Here, at least it was what I do - ask the little girl to give me a picture, rather than just take a picture.
And just as you treat your subject kind, and of course wiht the help of some candy, she will run and get you another one.  This little girl friend of hers, although less dressed up, equally pretty!  This is what I learned over the years - if you are successful with one, then they bring a lot more for you.  Besides, treating people nice is always the right thing to do, particular in photography, you get instant rewards. What's more is, when you have more than one model, the picture will have a lot more fun!
Picture below is still with the 2 little girls, but then they started to playt with you, so I follow them to play hide and seek!
This is a little shop-keeping girl, perhaps she is looking after the shop for her mom, typical in the developing countries. I was attracted to her not that she is stickingly pretty, but her face is weathered, and much matured beyond her age.
Finally the tire fixed, and we are moving again!

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