13-19 June 2014 #711

Oh, FAQ!

For the first time in recent memory, the number of unique online visitors to the official Non-Government of Nepal website has exceeded the actual number of hardcopy visitors to Nepal. It is a matter of pride and an indicator of the rapid strides we have taken in Information Technology in this country that more digital investors are visiting the Federal Demographic Republic than actual physical ones in the last fiscal year.

However, since no website is complete without a dropdown menu for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the National Investment Bored also needs a one-stop window containing answers to everything potential investors want to know about Nepal but are afraid to ask because they think they are stupid questions.

So as a service to venture capitalists, startups, kickstarters and crowdfunders, we present a list of the daftest frequently asked questions with our equally asinine answers:

1. Where is Nepal?

Good question. We were just trying to figure that out ourselves before you walked in. In a philosophical sense you could say that we as a nation state don’t know where we are at the present time, which way we are headed or whether we are coming or going. But, seriously, Nepal is a sweet potato tuber misplaced between two boulders and anyone who finds it please return it to its rightful owner.

2. What is Nepal known for?

For the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

For the in-laws of Lord Ram.

For longest road-widening project in world history

For the world’s highest mountain.

For the world’s fastest clock.

For the world’s tallest dwarf.

For the world’s most trustworthy crooks.

3. What if I get itchy in Nepal?

Nepal is a safe haven for itchy persons and visitors can scratch away to their heart’s content and no one will bat an eyelid (to mix metaphors a bit). You see this right on arrival at the airport where despite heavy security, immigration staff risk life and limb to scratch themselves in front of visitors waiting for their visa on arrival. In fact, if we didn’t already have a national past-time (going on relay hunger strikes), then poking around in one’s toolbox without let or hindrance and in full view of spy satellites could well be it.

4. What are the rules on tipping?

I was afraid you’d ask that. Tipping is mandatory in Nepal and, unlike most other places, is given before a job is done. For instance, if one wants to head the Nepal Telepathy Authority (NTA) one has to first tip the minister. Nepalis aren’t so crude as to call it a bribe, we call it a Prepaid Fee.

5. What is the most common form of greeting in Nepal?

“Khanu bho?” Translation: Have you partaken of your kickback for today?

6. What is Nepal Time?

Nepal Standard Time is plus-minus two hours of whatever is indicated on your wristwatch. Nepali Time is elastic and it is one of the few places in the solar system where Einstein’s Theory of Space Time Continuum can actually be scientifically demonstrated. Nepalis will never do today what should have been done three weeks ago. In fact, we won’t even do in this life what can be accomplished in our next incarnation.

7. What are some basic customs I should know about Nepal before deciding to invest there?

  • Do as Nepalis do: never offer anything with your left hand.

  • If it is under the table, offering with either hand is OK.

  • Take your shoes off when you enter a house.

  • If you notice that the occupants have stopped breathing, take your socks off as well.

  • Always pay at least five times what locals pay for all forms of transport within Nepal.

  • Nepalis are naturally friendly, so don’t make them unnaturally unfriendly by insisting that taxi driver returns your Rs 500 change.

  • Despite his outward appearance, the Great Asiatic One-horned Rhinoceros is a shy and thin-skinned animal, always ask for his permission before taking a photograph.

  • Nepal is now an open-defecation free country, however answering calls of nature by the roadside is allowed, but only if you can prove that it is an emergency call.

  • Public display of affection is considered offensive, so refrain from holding hands in public unless you are of the same sex.

  • Nepalis have a great sense of humour, in case you hadn’t noticed.

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