A Travellerspoint blog

Same-same but different, in Nepal

I first saw the slogan "Same-Same but Different" on tourist t-shirts in Cambodia and it has stuck. In all travels, I inevitably compare the new country to home and undoubtedly find its "SSBD"

"Same-Same but Different", in Nepal

SSBD #1 Truck slogans
"Nepal pyaro chha"
"Mero babu ko aashirwaad"
" Zindagi darshan"
etc. are commonly seen behind Nepali trucks.

SSBD #2 Landscape
As I swype (Galaxy S2) out this post while riding the tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, I am stymied by the deep valley between the towering green mountains. The fertile slopes are terraced to asymmetrical precision. On this canvas are painted huge fields of pastel green cabbages or entire slopes of flooded paddy, reflecting the green and blue colours above. This terraced slope of monumental proportions rises majestically like the fabled Stairway to Heaven from a tumbling blue-water-river deep down to the clouds-snow concoction high above.
I have seen great scenery in Ladakh and Kashmir in India but this is just "SSBD".

SSBD #3 Ambitions
I saw a huge hoarding in a busy Kathmandu road with pictures of Taj Mahal and Gateway of India and well dressed professionals, with the "Same-Same but Different" slogan, "Study in India. Call us to make your dreams come true".
People here love Indian people and songs and movies and are eager to talk to me.
Apparently I would be classified as a "fish mara", pure vegetarian marwaris being the "pure maras" in the Nepali gastro-casto system!

SSBD #4 The Nepali language
Nepali seems to be a sweeter, almost childish version of Hindi and yet it is incomprehensible at the speed people here speak it!

SSBD #5 The Youth
I had the opportunity to be invited to a local bar with a bunch of Nepali students and got to observe them closely. Although I felt our struggles and joys are the same, the guys here don't seem to be burdened so much with modern ideas of development and are so much more relaxed and chilled out. Although this may be fast changing!

SSBD #6 Money
Now this is special. Nepal also uses the Rupee but
1 INR = 1.6 NPR
For the first time I am in a country with a currency devalued to mine and I can finally experience a luxury I grudged the white traveler. My room/dorm costs NPR 250, 3 big meals a day for NPR 400, 2 bus journeys around town costs 25 each. Attractions are NPR 100 for SAARC nationalities. Add the luxuries of once in 2 days extravagant meals/drinks (NPR 300) and once in 10 days inter city "tourist bus" journey (NPR 500). Do the math and its average NPR 1000/day.

And... Wait for it...
NPR 1000/day = INR 625/day
Return flight DEL-KTM is INR 9000.

Do I see a sparkle of wanderlust to your eye!

Posted by sidtim 10:43 Archived in Nepal Tagged nepal kathmandu pokhara musings

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.