Lisa Napoli did a nice story on today's Marketplace about Ngawang, a 23-year-old DJ in Bhutan who is visiting — and discovering — Los Angeles for the first time. Until this trip, she had never seen the ocean and her image of L.A. came from Hollywood. Even then, television has only been permitted in the tiny Himalayan nation in the past nine years.
I took her to the largest Whole Foods in California. The quantity of food blew her mind, so did drive-thrus, vending machines, superhighways, the sheer variety of cars -- they all amazed her.
NAPOLI: A week ago you hadn't seen . . .
NGAWANG: The ocean, the traffics, the dishwasher, tall buildings.
And as tech-savvy as she is, the automatically flushing toilet at our office just about did her in.
NGAWANG: It freaked me out, you know. I thought, I'll flush it. I got up. I put my zip up, and then it automatically went. I was, yeah, like scared for first time.
She adjusted to the toilets, but never to the pace of an American newsroom. Still, after coming to work with me for a week, she found herself catching Marketplace fever.
NGAWANG: When banks compete you win.
Bhutan, an absolute monarchy yesterday, held its first-ever parliamentary elections today.