Every time I visit Nepal, I feel that Kathmandu is so expensive and wonder how people who live there manage.
For a country, which is listed as one of the poorest in the world with Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at just $743 you don’t get that feeling when you walk around the city.
If you look around, everyone has a new mobile phone, the latest iPads, fancy new clothes and a feast for every festival. It always makes me wonder how they manage to live like that when I know that the average salary in Nepal is NRS 10,000 ($100) per month.
Every time I go back, I can see that prices of things have doubled from last time and the quality has gone down. Having been to places like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, definitely the quality of things sold is Kathmandu is not very good.
I believe that I am among the average income family for Australia but still after paying mortgage and bills, there is not much left to play around so we have to plan well for any holidays and other luxuries in life but in Kathmandu people seem to be living a real luxury life. I know most of my friends/family in Kathmandu have one things sorted easily, they don’t need to worry about buying/building their own house with their salary. Either they have their family home or have some sort of inheritance sorted to build their home. I think that make them really rich because I know, most of our salary go towards the mortgage.
I went shopping with a few of my friends and cousins who live in Kathmandu and the way they shop is so different from the way I do. The things I felt were expensive, they thought were normal and just bought them. Seriously I can’t justify paying between NPR 30,000 – NPR 1,00,000 ($300-$1000) for a lehengha or sari which is to be worn once a year. I also can’t justify a new mobile/tablet every year just to look cool and I definitely can’t justify paying NPR 400 ($4.00) for a hot water with honey and lemon. A lemon in Nepal is NPR 10 and one spoon of honey is NPR 50 max so it sounds ridiculous that people are paying so much for it in a restaurant. They are paying NPR 2500 for a foundation and NPR 1500 for a lip gloss, seriously. Just a reminder again, average salary in Nepal is NPR 10,000 a month. I know it sounds OK in terms of dollar here but not in Nepal for sure.
I could go on and on but people in Nepal are happily paying this price. They say it is expensive but still pay for these luxuries without blinking hence my conclusion that Nepal is a poor country with rich people.
Do you feel the same? If you live in Kathmandu, how do you manage?