First World problems, meet your cousin: Third World problems.
I have sooooooo many mixed thoughts about Gemma Wilson and her 15-year old son Charlie — who are now famous for being chased by a two-stick swinging, rock-throwing Nepali woman who supposedly lost her Third World cool after Mama Wilson visited the local’s tea house and began to roil the shop owner over the price of a one quid cup of black tea.
For starters, I don’t endorse violence as a means of settling differences between buyers and sellers, regardless of where they live or visit in the world.
But WHAT HAPPENED TO LITTLE CHARLIE, when Gemma was facing off with Pissed-Off Nepal Woman … ?
And … did anyone bother to get Pissed-Off Nepal Woman’s name or even her version of the story … ? I’ll deal with that later.
Back to Charlie — when I was his age, I would’ve been like “Hold on,
Mom Mum. You care to step aside and let me get your lightwork sorted … ?
Nope, not Charlie. He’s too busy practicing his 30-year premonition: hauling azz and leaving his Mama in the dust.
Holla at me if you get what I just said.
Even the dog had Nepal Woman’s back.
But Charlie … ?
Nope. Too busy practicing …
I was raised to think the Rule of Mom is universal — you have her back, even if she’s wrong. Protect Mom at ALL times.
But thankfully, my Mom wouldn’t be so stupid to think every place she visits is filled with stupid people who have no sense for the value of work or money— or can’t tell when someone is running a game.
To place a larger piece of the picture in perspective — but admittedly only basing my observations on what I see in Gemma Wilson’s daring high-definition video of her ordeal — my Mom wouldn’t buy …
… two $1200 to $4000 round-trip airline tickets to Nepal …
… $300-$500 for a GoPro camera to record her harrowing incident …
…$300 for a smart phone (giving Gemma the benefit of the doubt here. I saw her smartphone in the video but can’t immediately figure out the model or value) …
$20 for hiking poles (again, benefit of the doubt) …
… about $60 for a pair of extra-large designer leggings
… okay, my Mom doesn’t wear leggings, nor would she wear them in extra-large, if she did (my point is that a quick glance at Gemma makes me guess the terrified traveler isn’t suffering from a developing world problem like calorie deficiency) …
… and then seem willing to hassle a woman from Nepal over the price of a cup of tea, which represents about .02 percent of the Wilsons’ holiday mountain trek budget.
In US terms, we’re talking about the difference between a 48-cent cup of tea and $1.45.
Let’s get back to Pissed-Off Nepal Woman, whose side of the story remains a “First-World” mystery. No one’s asked her what happened —yet.
The video seen across the world only picks up the point when Gemma and Charlie are on the run.
But we have some hints about Pissed-Off Nepal Woman’s background and neighborhood.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than a quarter of its citizens living in poverty.
While Katmandu may not look like an impoverished town, much of the countryside does — especially in the mountain region where Nepal Woman operates her wooden hut of a tea shop.
Blogger Nepal Travel Tales (h/t Neo Stuffs), who previously traveled the same route as the Wilsons did as well as visited the same tea house and woman, perfectly frames the issue of our mystery Nepali tea lady (unedited):
How about that very woman who risks her life everyday, every moment to make sure that nobody dies because of lack of water and basic food?
Nepal Travel Tales said the woman discussed her daily challenge in operating a tea house that sits on an active landslide area about 4,400 meters above sea level:
When I had met her before this incident, she narrated her story like this: “I wake up before daybreak and after every morning’s chores, I make my way to this very tea shop walking through one of the most treacherous and deadliest routes.”
Even Gemma Wilson’s words and video provided by to the Mirror show how treacherous the route is:
Gemma then began begging the woman to leave them alone, sure she would fall to her death from the narrow path if she attempted to fight back.
And while other cities in the 28th poorest country in the world may look rich, the woman knows that her part of the world is not. Go to time marker 3:00 of the video below:
Most of the media outlets didn’t bother to point out everything the “Crazy woman” said, so I’ll help here: “No Katmandu. No Pokhara. No Manang.”
In other words, this is the other side of Nepal.
“I getting horse. One horse, 2,000 Rupees. Very hard.”
The woman apparently pays for 2,000 Rupees for horse-driven delivery of supplies like sugar and tea leaves.
(Laughing) If Pissed-Off Nepal Woman operated a shop out of Whole Foods or Harrods, she could tell her story and then charge twenty bucks for a cup of tea!
But Gemma Wilson wants to beef about a buck-fifty?
Perhaps it’s not a beef. Gemma could be one of those travel jerks with reckless timing.
For example, she could have been trying to say “Well, I usually pay less than that” to stupidly signal to others that she’s been to a place or two in the world before. Still a jerk move, but definitely a different intent from deliberately minimizing the hustle of people in developing countries.
(Laughing) well, Pissed-Off Nepal Woman wasn’t impressed in any case!
I could be wrong, but the video appears as if the local could have split Gemma’s head with one of those two sticks at any point during the confrontation. Gemma’s hiking poles weren’t in a terribly good position to block any blows. Who knows, perhaps Pissed-Off Nepal Woman wanted to be heard.
Nepal Travel Tales says that someone will be in the Annapurna Circuit trek of the mountain to speak with Pissed-Off Nepal Woman and get her version of events. Stay tuned …
song currently stuck in my head: “hurricane” – charles Bradley [rest in love, soul-dier … ]