South Asia

Crazy Nepali woman attacks British family on Annapurna Circuit, Nepal; My Response by Gemma Wilson

posted by Stuart Wilson13 Comments

Crazy Nepali woman attacks British family on Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

During summer 2017 I was hiking with my stepson in the Annapurna region of Nepal. On that hike I called at a tea shop and there was an incident which I filmed which then went viral around the world. The video can be found here: Crazy Nepali Woman attacks British Family on Annapurna Circuit

Until now I have remained silent at the hate which I have received, the death threats and the disgraceful side of humanity that has been laid bare and aimed at me.

Nepal was, and still is one of my favourite places in the world. Rugged mountain ranges, lush green valleys, immense culture, and some of the softest, most gentle human beings that I have ever met who despite a tumultuous history still find goodness in their hearts. Every day is filled with the welcome of genuine individuals who offer hope, warmth and generosity. Hiking in Nepal is second to none, even following absolute decimation by the 2015 earthquake the Nepalis just put things right and moved on regardless. It is this endeavour for happiness, through poverty, hardship, natural disasters and a ruthless history that really does summarise how amazing the Nepalese are.

You shouldn’t haggle over $1.50

I have travelled to many countries throughout Asia and even volunteered at a rural school in India. Not only do I respect cultures, but I admire the discipline and the hope, and I have never ever disrespected any culture, anywhere in the world. On this website there are images of me dressed in a hijab in the Middle East, with my shoulders covered in temples, dressing modestly on beaches etc. It has been suggested to me that I don’t care for culture and that I shouldn’t haggle over a cup of tea when it costs just $1.50. The issue is this, first of all I didn’t haggle. Though in Nepal haggling is part of daily life and culture, on the trails I never haggle, even in the markets of Kathmandu I feel uncomfortable haggling and rarely do. I am the typical tourist in that I know I always pay over the odds for things due to my nature. Secondly, being overcharged in Nepal is commonplace.

 

Not due to dishonesty, simply due to the fact haggling is expected,

A price will usually be quoted on the very assumption that you will negotiate to a reasonable price. This is not what happened at the Deurali tea house. On the Annapurna prices tend to be relatively fixed, with you paying the same at all places. At the Deurali tea shop I was quoted three times the price. It is irrelevant whether this amounted to $1.50 or not, there are no ATM’s on the trail, trekkers carry only cash and they carry the cash they think they will need. Stories of hikers travelling with hoards of money just does not happen. If I paid 3 times the price for everything I would have left my stepson and I in a very tough position. The simple fact is, I was being ripped off and I paid it, knowing this. I simply made a comment acknowledging that I knew I was being ripped off.

You had your own mug that was 3 times the size

Not true and one of the early lies given out by the woman. When you hike anywhere in the Himalayas there are certain things you must consider. The main one is health. If I was to carry my own mug, I would also need to find a safe place to clean it every time I used it. What is the point in doing that when tea shops provide cups? How impolite would it be bringing my own cup and then giving this to someone to fill. I think that would be rude. Another thing to consider is weight, carrying my own mug would be pointless weight. I do carry a bottle, it is a bottle that filters the water and does not require cleaning, but protects against any waterborne disease, this isn’t needed for hot drinks as the boiling process eliminates any water borne diseases.

You stayed at the tea house and refused to pay

This was the first lie the woman told. Probably in haste as it didn’t take people long to realise this was impossible since she has no rooms at her tea house.

Getting produce to the village is tough

It is, I 100% acknowledge this. I have seen guys in Nepal carrying weight which is at the limits of human capability and it breaks my heart seeing people have to work that hard for such minimal amounts of money. But lets put this into perspective for a moment. (Despite the fact tea is grown locally)

Assuming a tea bag was used, lets say that 1 tea bag is equal to 2 grams.

Lets say that a local will carry 50kg up to the village. That is a total of 50,000 grams or 25,000 tea bags.

At the price of $1.50 per tea bag, that means the load has a value of $37,500

Considering the current GDP per capita is $2,400, that means that one person, for that one load, carried up to the village a load that would represent an average 16 years of earning for the average Nepali. Now lets consider the porter used a horse that can carry 100kg…

Lets be realistic here.

Also, the teashop runs a porter service.

You pulled a knife on the woman

This is the most ridiculous of all the lies that have been touted by the woman. In a recent video she claims that I pulled a knife on her. When I first saw this response I laughed it off due to how ridiculous an accusation it is, but what has stunned me is how many people actually believe this would happen.

In the Annapurna region the people are renowned for being hard working, for being the type of people that are fierce in the face any challenges. That spend their days doing back breaking work that would reduce most of the world to tears. To even contemplate that any tourist would ever, in the middle of the Himalayas and over the price of a cup of tea, would pull a knife out on a local is simply insane. It is so far removed from any reality that it has dumfounded me that people even entertained this would be true.

To pull a knife, or even pick up a weapon in this part of the world against a local would be suicide, not just amongst the locals, but the police too. I would like to think I live in a world where that simply does not happen.

I hit the woman with my walking poles/a stick

Again, this is so far removed from reality that it is pure fantasy.

The ‘truth’ video

In this video it is claimed that I asked the price, then haggled and then threw the money on the floor. This is a lie, I don’t know anyone that would act like that, it is a complete lie.

It is then alleged that I started filming the Nepalese woman with my phone, this is impossible as I use an old phone due to its a very long battery life and that has no recording capability. I had on my chest a GoPro 5 capable of 4k filming, all I have to do is say ‘GoPro record’ and it starts to record. I did take a photograph of the outside of the shop, I was writing an account of my travels and was going to later write about how stopping here would inflate the price of a drink to three times that of other places. It was in fact this attempt at a photograph that triggered the situation.

It is then claimed I pushed the Nepali woman and then pulled out a knife. As I have already explained this is just ridiculous. I will also add that the husband was there the whole time, at no point did he get involved. If what the woman says is true, he would have. It is then claimed I somehow managed to find a log and attempted to hit the woman. Again, not only is this so far removed from my character, that I don’t believe any tourist would even dream of doing this.

This woman has changed her story multiple times, to the point of fantasy.

The reality of what happened is simple. She ripped me off, I commented on it, paid it anyway and then left the shop to take a photograph of the name. She became angry and tried to hit my phone out of my hands, she then tried to me with a stick which I blocked with my walking poles. I then ran, she chased me and threw rocks before outrunning me and then going crazy over me. My stepson was running ahead as I screamed for him to get help, the trail was along a steep banking that would have meant certain death had I fallen and the man my stepson managed to get was not the woman’s brother as she claims.

I put the video on YouTube to show anyone hiking the Annapurna where to avoid and I still stand by that decision. This woman is dangerous, when I reported her behaviour at the next village people laughed at me explaining that this was commonplace, and she is well known for exploding at tourists, knowing she will get away with it due to the nearest police being far away in Manang. Her behaviour was not unique to just me, there have even been people comment on social media and this video that they came across this woman and she went crazy at them too, and one day I really do believe she will kill or seriously injure someone.

The Nepalese tourism board contacted me, and official statements were taken. They are aware of the danger she poses and I stand by my initial naming of the video: Crazy Nepali woman attacks British family on Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

I hope that bringing this woman to the spotlight and that by showing her actions I have in some way warned others of the danger this woman poses to tourists.

Stay safe on the trails.

Gemma Wilson

 

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13 Comments

Jim SmithApril 22, 2018 at 8:12 pm

In my view your account rings very true.

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Praveen RaoMay 31, 2018 at 6:15 pm

Hi Gemma – that video somehow popped up on my (UK) feed today and I am so glad you are able to put your full response here.
I was looking for further information apart from the video responses painting you in a very poor light as you mention above.
There are a lot of people all-too-willing to believe what they want to hear, and in their defence the level of irateness displayed would normally be attributable to some terrible grievance…
Happy trails and best wishes! 🙂 Praveen

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danielJuly 9, 2018 at 1:40 pm

I believe you 100%, but hay don’t let the negatives get to you, they existed before all this happened they are existing at this moment and they will exist into the future. Just surround your selfwith the positives, happy trails.

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danielJuly 9, 2018 at 1:42 pm

I believe you 100%, but hay don’t let the negatives get to you, they existed before all this happened they are existing at this moment and they will exist into the future. Just surround you self with the positives, happy trails.

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Nathan LeeJuly 24, 2018 at 9:22 pm

Just pay it instead of insulting the woman. It was pennies.

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Stuart WilsonAugust 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Is that what you do when you are overcharged. When you have a finite amount of money and no other way to get cash.

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Archer AJuly 25, 2018 at 7:32 pm

3 times the price? Are you serious? You spend thousands of dollars traveling to and fro with your kids, and you really feel that you were in the right here? Have you ever eaten at a restaurant before? Do you think that it costs the establishment $2 to provide you with a soda? No, it costs around 20 cents. Seriously shame on you and your gross entitlement, making tourists everywhere look bad. You posted the video calling this woman crazy and it backfired. Seriously shame on you. I hope at least your kids will learn from your stupidity and the infamy you brought yourself.

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Stuart WilsonAugust 2, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Prices are fixed on the circuit, there are no ATMs en route, you have a finite amount of cash. My wife simply questioned why the price was higher, the woman was then triggered. You might go through life saying nothing where overcharged, potentially putting yourself and your child into a difficult situation. We don’t. And what has backfired? I’m in Nepal right now enjoying a beer watching the sunset.

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Edward SmithAugust 19, 2018 at 8:48 am

It’s clear, if the menu said 50, and the woman asked 150 she wasn’t right. This is not legitimate, even in the mauntains. In addition, you paid the price. She was angry because you photographed the menu. (I guess) She thought this would be evidence for you to take a report at the police. Whatever it was, threatening and attacking you, was a crime. Maybe this woman is mentally disabled, or at least she has a low intelligence. To be honest, I would have used the walking poles. It was a lethal threat. Me, or she. She didn’t leave any other option. You had a huge fortune that she didn’t attack you, because you couldn’t defend yourself. That wasn’t sure, not at all! That woman was unpredictable! Maybe the poles have saved you. Maybe she was afraid a little, that if you have to, you would use it to save your life. In my opinion, without them you would have been surely injured.

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YourCrazyNotThatNepaliAugust 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm

Nobody could tell now what really happened there but for my opinion, it was your way of confronting her about your so called “OVERPRICED FOR A DOLLAR and half” (i still could not believe you saying this shit) that started it all. Maybe she made her story more complicated. Maybe, you were right about her doing this kind of intimmidation to the tourist. But this facts, you gathered it to get sympathy. You said it yourself, she’s crazy but you, knowing the fact that you have the higher way of thinking and to be even started arguing with her, what do you think you are now? Commenting on something you knew that is negative or bad to someone’s services or products right in front of the owner is never in a million will get into anything good to you. If you have a limited amount of money, if you explained it to the woman in a very nice and polite way, this will not happened. There is no way no way that that woman will chase you base on your reasoning.

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Stuart WilsonSeptember 1, 2018 at 8:35 am

A lot of assumptions there. None of which are even remotely close to what happened.

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AmaOctober 17, 2018 at 10:52 am

I think this is just a case of cultural ignorance/nievity. I used to sell advertising and on the wall of one small store hung a sign, “We shoot every 10th salesperson. The ninth one just left.” Maybe the woman was just tourist burnt out. The tourist may have been a bit beaten down already by the touts in Thamel. I’ve been cheated by so many Nepali. I just hope none say that about me; I’ve never lost more than I could afford and it doesn’t happen so often when you understand the culture.

I’ve lived here for 7 years now and I love it, but people see me as a billionaire when the reality is I’d be very poor living on my small pension in the US. So, some Nepali think of me as a ‘tourist tree.’ Many westerners continue to spout how much happiness there is in the villages because ‘they may not have a lot of money but they have family and community.’ The truth is it’s a horrible thing to be cold and have to resolve yourself that you won’t get warm until July and seeing your children die in infancy, going to bed hungry and so many more indignities to the human condition. Poverty is a bitch. This was just so unfortunate. So glad the tourist lady didn’t take it out on all of Nepal. Nepali are really wonderful, warm, kind, gentle.

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JimmyKOctober 21, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for making this public! I’ve never been there but it’s definitly something i consider. I’m shocked after seeing this. I imagined it was a safe place. Never thought people would get attacked in such way in such remote place for such tiny amount. If that **** or any other psyco do this to me on a trail, i wouldn’t think long : somebody is going to fall and it’s definitly her! Wish she get burned someday soon..

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