Things you probably shouldn’t do when in Nepal

1. Eat from a roadside stand

This is a big no-no for me. I understand there are adventurous people who like to try everything, but for me adventure doesn’t really entail getting violently sick while touring Swayambhunath temple and desperately looking for a bathroom while monkeys eye me suspiciously. No matter how inviting those snacks might look, I strongly suggest to pass it up. (tip: don’t try to pet the monkeys while at Swayambhunath – it probably won’t end well, for you)

2. Ride on top of the public bus

When I went to Pokhara I saw this tourist ride on top of the bus heading the same way. The road to Pokhara is a winding 200 km road where trucks stop for no one and nothing. Buses as well. They drive like crazy and not rarely does a bus fly across the cliff and into the river. Riding those buses is a lottery, and riding on the roof of those buses is a suicide, at least for a tourist. Poor girl I saw on top of that bus to Pokhara looked so pale, holding onto her dear life probably thinking “what the hell did I get myself into!?”. I bet she kissed the ground when she finally got off 4 hours later. You don’t wanna do that to yourself.

3. Try to blend in

Let’s face it, unless you’re Indian, you’re probably never ever going to be able to blend in. You can learn Nepali, wear a saree, hop on the bike sitting sideways (if you’re a girl) in your flip-flops in the middle of December, but if you’re white, all your efforts are in vain. You will always stick out like a sore thumb, shining bright in the Nepali sun. And everyone will stare at you. Openly. And you’ll feel awkward. Until you decide to wave to people staring at you. Then they’ll feel awkward. Not that I’ve done that or anything.

4. Get frustrated with traffic

There is just no point. Traffic in Nepal is crazy and don’t try to understand it, or even worse correct it. I honestly think Nepalis enjoy the chaos of traffic in Kathmandu (minus Mr.B. who hates it beyond reason). Most of the time traffic gets so congested and people get so frustrated that only an army guy can settle problems. I found traffic police to be totally useless there. The most annoying thing is how people form gazillion lanes making the traffic even more congested.

Yup, traffic in K-city

Yup, traffic in K-city

5. Assume you’ll be able to eat toast in the morning

One of the great perks of living in Nepal, is having to deal with load shedding. Oh, the infamous load shedding. Be prepared for lots of quiet time sitting in the dark hoping you get sleepy soon. If there’s electricity do everything you possibly can that requires electricity at that time and don’t leave anything for later because the chances of you not being able to have toast for breakfast are high. You better be a fan of cereal with cold milk.

6. Force Nepalis to show up on time

It’s simply not happening. They all operate on Nepali time which is about 45 minutes behind the real time. So don’t expect your friends in Nepal to be there at the exact scheduled time. Well, actually, they are showing up on time, it’s you who’s early. Don’t fret over it because you might as well lose your mind soon. Grab a book and read or just do some good old people watching. Wave to everyone who stares at you. Help the army guy sort out the traffic jam. Or not.

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13 thoughts on “Things you probably shouldn’t do when in Nepal

  1. Hi Ms. Z! Just stumbled upon your blog! Nice job! Wanted to tell you that after living in Nepal for three years now, I don’t find the traffic crazy anymore! You will get used to it and you will wonder why you thought it was crazy! However, I haven’t been able to eat from a roadside stand yet–although I once ate homemade coconut “ice cream” on a stick while hiking on a very hot and humid day when I thought I was going to faint. Yes, it refreshed me and gave the the boost I needed to finish the hike (and see the gorgeous views), and yes, I got sick as I suspected I would–very sick in fact! But luckily, as you’ve probably found out already, and thankfully, medicine works quickly! Have a nice day and check out my blog of our adventures if you want to! (By the way, I’m half Croatian!)

    • Half Croatian!? Wow! How cool it is you found me then πŸ™‚
      I am slowly starting to get used to the traffic and I actually don’t think much of it when someone else drives, but when I’m the one driving, then I definitely notice the chaos.
      I have not yet (knock on wood) gotten sick from food, but I am also being very careful. I’ll make sure not to eat coconut ice-cream while hiking πŸ™‚

    • hey you guys , dats lot of useful info re Nepal…… I am visiting K’mandu the week aftr next…….first time…..can u also tel me hw much is english useful der ???

  2. Ad 6) I actually found this worse with my non-Nepali friends. It seems that foreigners here quickly and happily adjust to Nepali time. When we are supposed to meet somewhere, often our Nepali friends show on time while Westerners just relax and take it easy. Well, I am not any better but I was tuned to Nepali time even when in Europe πŸ™‚

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