Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bhutan Declares Tuesdays as Pedestrians' Day

-->Beginning June 5, 2012, Bhutan has declared every Tuesday of the week as “Pedestrians’ Day”. On this day, other than public transport such as taxis and buses and vehicles belonging to the armed services and hospital ambulances, no vehicles will be allowed to ply in the core zone of Thimphu city.

This is ingenuity at the highest level; a stroke of genius! We should have done this much earlier. It is good for our health and it is good for our environment. Best of all, it is good for our pocket.

I had a number of offices to go to. I pulled out my Thorlo trekking socks and dusted my New Balance sneakers in preparation for the 3-4 Kms of walking I would have to do during the day. I decided that I would call for a taxi to drive me to town. Before I could make the call, I was informed that our Prime Minister was seen walking to his office. That did it. If the Prime Minister of a country can walk to his office, I can certainly do it. So I gave up the idea of taking a taxi. Instead, I drove my car to the parking of the National Assembly and left it parked in the parking lot. From there I walked to all the places that I needed to visit.

One office I couldn’t go to was the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in Tashichho Dzong where I had told an officer that I would come and see him. I had to call him and inform him that I would not be able to make it to see him. Why? Because I was wearing sneakers and the rules in effect does not permit anyone to enter the Dzong unless one is in dress shoes.
 All set for the walk

Is it possible that the government can relax the sneaker rule - especially for Tuesdays so that people can gain entry into Dzongs even if they are wearing sneakers? Walking 3-4 Kms wearing hard-soled shoes can be very bad for one’s feet. Wearing comfortable footwear will encourage people to walk for longer durations.

The rule encouraging people to walk is very good. But the government must also see that it does enough to make the experience as comfortable as possible.


  1. Sir, I really loved the way you just requested to wear Snickers on Tuesday. This "Pedestrian Day' is surely going to bring changes in whatever field it may concern.

    Nice one Sir.
    Happy Pedestrian Day. Slowly thinking for how many times will I get to wish this day. Let the count begin...

  2. Hi Yeesi7,

    Thanks ...

    I am glad you take this positively.

  3. Nice post.

    I also liked the idea of getting to walk once a week to office. There are skeptics who are opposed to every new ideas but let's hope that this idea stays on...

  4. Is that your normal stance or did you place your feet that way for the picture? :) I think it's a great idea too. I also enjoyed my walk. I chose to walk even though a friend told me how I could navigate myself to office in my car not because I might make a wrong turn and get myself in a spot, but to be a part of this effort to reduce global warming by making my own carbon footprint smaller. As this was the first time, there would have been a number of hiccups, and may be some more to be found, but am sure nothing that cannot be ironed out. Anon.

  5. Hi Anon,

    It is not my normal stance .. I placed my feet that way so that the readers can see the details of the shoe's construction and the socks. If one is to be walking for long durations, it is important to have a well cushioned soles and thick socks to absorb the weight of the body on your legs. That is why I also suggested that government should consider allowing sneakers so that people are not barred from entering Dzongs. This way, walking will not become a burden and the people will be encouraged to take up walking more often.

  6. Yeshey, if only we were all as practical as you with your strong sense of attention to detail! But sneakers to office would be an absolute no..no. Not only because they are so informal, but sneakers would bring in stronger odor of toe jam. We get enough of it without the sneakers. Anon.

  7. I don't see your camouflage pant that has accumulated dirt for the past one year. At least it is not that same chapal you are wearing. hehe. Guess who this is?

  8. Hi Anon,

    My apologies … but I am unable to guess who you are. Perhaps you will be kind enough to tell me who you are :)

    But one thing I can guess – you and I must have been out of touch with each other for the past 2 years. The reason is that, my most fav camouflage that you are referring to has been “retired” two years back. After more than 10 years of daily service, the pant’s rear went threadbare. I loved the pant – it was roomy, it was baggy and so very strong! It protected me from thorns while trekking through bushy terrain in the sub-Alpine regions. It was a US Army issue from the Korean war era .. the year marked on its lapel showed 1952. I tried to buy one similar pant – but I never got anything close to it. I then settled for Duluth Trading’s Men’s Fire Hose Work Pants (http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/mens/duluth-ingenuity/fire-hose-workwear/mens-fire-hose-pants/92204.aspx). I have 2 pairs of them and I wear them alternately - every day - when I am not required to wear Gho :)

    The Chapal as you say was not a chapel – but a Teva sandle: Mens Hurricane XLT. That also has been “retired”. I simply could not wear them out. So after plodding in them all over the place for more than 5 years (I even used them for fishing and wadding in deep waters), I decided to get myself a new pair of sandals - another TEVA. I am now wearing a TEVA slip-on, a model known as “Mens Katavi Slide” (http://www.teva.com/mens-katavi-after-sport-slide-sandals/4145,default,pd.html?dwvar_4145_color=BNGC&start=6&cgid=men-sandals).

    Best Wishes to you.

  9. Yeshey is a style guru too...wow...Anon

  10. hahah overly casual and looks shabby. I got blisters all over that day. Totally forgot it was Tuesday.


  11. LOL ... there are times when comfort must be more important than looking hep :)-