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‘Passing: No Trade’ – Pokhara Tourism

The images in this post give an indication of the developing slide of businesses, and individuals who rely on the business for income, as the lack of tourists to Nepal continues.

I spent an 2 hours in a restaurant on the shores of Phewa Lake, in Pokhara. Even in Monsoon, not the most popular time of year for visitors, this area would still have a relatively thriving trade.

I was the only ‘trade’ the establishment received during that time. As I sat I noticed people walking past the lake side entrance. Only one was obviously foreign.

All the employees I met, were local Nepalese. Probably gaining a few rupees for their family living in the surrounding hills. I am pretty sure the restaurant itself was owned by an ‘outsider’. At least the owner was managing to keep a few people employed. I had no idea what to do to help, apart from eating and paying – which, obviously went to the owner, who then paid the wages.

My answer, at that time was to pay for the meal, then request to meet all those working. They all appeared, a little confused. I then gave each of them a tip. It may not be the best idea, but it enabled me to feel I was ‘paying the locals’ for their service, whilst still paying the owner for the food.

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The only other person to come into the restaurant – a local farmer looking to sell fruit and vegetables.

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The one obvious ‘non-local’ who passed in the 2 hours.

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And still the invite to ‘come in, and enjoy!’

The smiles I received from the staff, especially those you don’t normally see (and I’m pretty sure don’t usually see ‘tips’), such as the cooks and those who clean the dishes, made it obvious that were pleased with the gesture. Maybe it will make a difference … to some of them.

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