“I’m from the plains. The plains of Nepal.”

I go to the Bay Area very often, and I noticed that in my last five Uber/Lyft trips, three of my drivers came from Nepal. This
time to the airport from a meeting I had in Redwood City, Janak was a young and chipper Nepalese Uber driver. He claimed that there were at least 50,000 Nepalese people in the Bay Area.


“Yes. Maybe more, maybe less. Nepal isn’t a really great place right now”

“Did you live in the mountains in Nepal?”

He laughed. “No. Everyone thinks Nepal is only made of mountains. We have everything in Nepal. I am from the plains. The plains of Nepal.”

“Did you move here first from Nepal?”

“No, I moved to Alabama. Then here.”

“Why Alabama?”  It seemed like a strange pick as a first destination in the US for someone coming all the way from Nepal.

“I like Alabama,” Janak said, smiling almost shyly. “Big Party. Big.”


He glanced over. “Big Party,” he repeated.

“Why do you need to party?”

“It helps me forget,” he said.

“What do you need to forget?”

A sad look came over him. “Lots of things. Life is not always fun. But if I party, then it can be fun.”

I nodded.

“You need to party,” he told me. “Here. Listen to this, but let me know if it bothers you.” All of a sudden, our car was a moving house-music party bus.

Janak started singing along to the mono-syllabic lyrics accompanied by a persistent beat.

It didn’t really bother me.

About the artists

With a day job in the energy industry, Laura Sallette enjoys doodling, sketching, and traveling during her free time. As the daughter of an immigrant and having lived in NYC and the Bay Area, she has a deep appreciation for the positive contributions that arise from a diverse and colorful community.


Alexandra Burda is from Romania and currently lives in Helsinki, Finland. She loves traveling, people, animals, history, emotions and the wonderful world of imagination. If she were not an artist, she would like to work as a scientist, or a professional athlete. Some of her portfolio can be found at http://alexandraburda-illustration.com/