I woke up the next morning with the intention of spending my day lounging by the lake.
There was a nice little park right down the street from Hotel Snow Leopard; I had a nice little Instagram photo in my mind of me sitting on a bench, reading a book or writing in my journal next to this impressive mountain lake.
I had American breakfast at a cafe by the lake, and then went to go sit down.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to get the peaceful morning I had imagined.
[this is a serial story about my travel in Nepal during March 2016. Start with chapter 1, here.]
Almost as soon as I sat down, I was approached by a greasy-looking young Nepali man. He immediately engaged me in conversation. Despite my shut-off body language and answers, he wasn’t deterred. He sat himself down next to me, uncomfortably close.
He desperately wanted to sell me something.
Too bad for this guy, I wasn’t in the same charitable mood I had been yesterday. Plus, he wasn’t nearly as charming as the old man with no shoes— this guy was just obnoxious, overly pushy, and drunk at 11 in the morning. And he wouldn’t take a hint.
“You want to rent a scooter?” he asked.
“Bike?” he asked.
“No. I just want to stay by the lake.”
“Ah! You need a boat then? I can help with that. Good prices.”
“No thank you.”
We sat in awkward silence for a moment.
“Boat ride?” he asked.
No.” I said, a little more firmly. “I don’t want anything.”
“Ah, you just want sit here, look at the lake?” he asked.
“Yes,” I answered, relieved.
“You want hashish?” he asked.
“No,” I responded, irritated.
“Hashish? Maybe you know… weed?” he clarified.
“I don’t want weed.”
“Why not?” He persisted. “On a day like this,” he made a sweeping gesture across the sunny lake. “You sit here, smoke a little—“ he made a quick inhaling motion, “you sit back like ahhhh–“ he mimed the action of relaxing, “day is perfect.”
“No thanks,” I said, again. I was starting to get a sinking feeling that he wasn’t going to leave me alone.
He leaned over conspiratorially. “Mushrooms?” he whispered under his breath.
“No!” I said.
“You just want to relax,” he said.
“Why not get massage then? I know good place, good price.”
“Sexy massage?” He started rubbing my shoulders. I jerked away.
“Girls?” He asked. “I know place. Sexy girls.”
“Boys?” he asked, questioning. “Little girls? Little boys? Make you feel good.” He reached over and twisted my nipple. This time I pushed him away.
“No!” I practically shouted at him. “I don’t want anything!”
He looked a little taken aback.
“I am bothering you,” he said, almost as if he was realizing it for the first time.
“Yes,” I responded, exasperated. “I have to go meet my friends,” I lied.
I got up, and so did he.
“You don’t need to leave!” he said. “I go.”
“I’ve gotta go, people are waiting for me,” I said, hoping to discourage him from following.
“Namaste, my friend!” he called after me.
I didn’t answer as I sped away.
18 thoughts on “Nepal 36: Harassed at the Lake”
I’m slowly catching up on your story. This was not the Nepal I had in mind. I was really put off India by the constant harassment & grabbing & staring & general invasion of private space that took place there, mainly in the cities and bigger towns. I somehow never envisaged Nepal would be the same. I still want to go someday but I do not look forward to dealing with that again.
This was the only really negative experience I had in Nepal. But yes, there is some chaos.
Thanks for catching up! I really appreciate it 😊
I had a few encounters like this in Thailand decades ago when I was trying to find a doctor for my sick wife
In Nepal, there is a shortage of ways to make a living. Desperately hungry people resort to desperate paths to stay alive and support families. Terribly sad. How can the tourist contribute to making a better future?
Some of the place with tourist around the beach can happen like that, good thing you able to handle nicely. But look at the bright side, you’re attractive enough for him keep chasing you like that 😛 Nice article. Thank you for visiting my blog 🙂
Terrifying, is what it is, actually. I don’t guarantee that I won’t attack him. I would most definitely attack him.
Terrific story! I’ve just come back from a week in Bali dealing with the exact same questions and harassment. Know the humour and the pain!
This story sounds funny only because it feels so unreal and your storytelling is awesome…. I’m sorry you actually had to deal with that.
It was a little surreal. Thanks for the kind words!
That’s one way to have a perfectly good day ruined. My sympathies. It’s like dealing with the hawkers around the Trevi Fountain in Rome. They can ruin an otherwise magical experience.
This is insane. It angers me. And it is how I feel all the time around certain men. I’m so sorry this happened to you. ❤️
That could happen in other places as well. No fun and it ruins what could have been a very pleasant moment. My regrets.
I know exactly the frustration. I encountered a very similar Nepali in the Chitwan who insisted on following my team around while we were evangelizing in the village we were staying in. Our whole team smelt like dirt and sweat, but still you could smell the alcohol seeping through this man’s pores. I felt sorry for him, but as a woman there was only so much conversation I could partake in without giving him the wrong idea. Even so, I think he had the wrong idea.
he just used fast and forward way to get the money from the tourist, stay safe
Oops! One of those days with one of those people heh!
Very unsettling. You write about it well!
Lake looks gorgeous – pity the experience was ruined by a pushy, really creepy salesman.. I hope it didn’t ruin your experience of the place in general!
This is sad