The taxi driver was an old man, probably around 60. He seemed a silent man. Normally, taxi drivers are natural talkers, it is not different here in Japan too. May be, interaction with a lot of people regularly makes you talkative, even if you are not born a talker.
Our conversation started only after half of the way.
どこの国からきたんですようね？Which country are you from?
ネパールですね。It is Nepal.
あーーー！ネパールですか。So it’s Nepal！ He seemed to be interested.
Wasn’t the king murdered? And a lot of other people too died, isn’t it?
はい、そうです。Yes, it is (true). I make a short reply.
I was not much surprised. Although not always, many times the first thing mentioned by Japanese people after I mention my country has been this royal massacre. It happened six years ago. The official version has been that the then Prince (drunk and drugged), angry with his mother for not allowing him to marry the gilr he liked, shot randomly in a party and killed himself too. But very few believe that version.
The incident has stuck in our identity like some unwashable black spot of a white cloth. Most of the Japanese people don’t know much about Nepal. And what they know is Himalaya and the Everest only, generally. So this royal massacre has gained the same prominence as the Everest!
今の王様人々にあまりすきじあない見たいですね！The current king doesn’t seem much popolar,is it? Actually he knows more!
はい、ほとんどの人嫌いです。多分来年選挙があって王様要るかどうかきまります。Yes, most of the people hate him. May be there will be election next year to decide whether king is needed or not. I speak as if I am 100% certain of that election taking place! (And shame on me, I still don't know the Japanese word for 'monarchy' and still use 'king' instead!)
そうっか！昨日の晩、テレビでブタンとネパルに関する何か放送しましたね！Oh yes! There was something on television last night about Bhutan and Nepal. The old man started another topic. ブタンでネパール系の人もけっこう多い見たいね。It seems a lot of ethnic Nepalese people are there in Bhutan.
はい。でも皆3－4百年前からブタンですんでますね。Yes. But they are living in Bhutan since last 3-4 hundred years.
He knew about Bhutanese king’s mistreatment of these people and he was very sympathetic to Bhutanese Nepalese refugees.
My destination came.
“Royal massacre----“ it happened today too! Something else also came with it today. But both of these aren’t anything to be proud of. I can be careless about the former (or should I?) but the latter, the Bhutanese Nepalese’s plight is very painful to me.
I hope and pray they can return to their homeland soon.
P.S. My Japanese has a lot of mistakes!