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My Experience in Nepal Part II- First taste of Nepal, Fanta, and reckless driving! By: Mayank B.

 Link to Part1: http://www.everestuncensored.org/?p=1293

After walking across the tarmac, we went into the Arrival building, which wasn’t very welcoming. There were two duty free shops (both selling alcohol and cigarettes) and it was very dim and humid. I shrugged the bad condition of the terminal off and proceeded to wait in the line. After clearing immigration, we got our baggage and were greeted by my uncle and my dad’s friends. I recognized my uncle and my friend Riya the moment I stepped out of the airport. My little cousin Kaustuv was there too, but he didn’t know us so he was shy. Everyone else was rather unfamiliar to me. As I was dragging the luggage to the car, people were offering to help. I didn’t know if they were friends or random hobos looking for money so I decided not to trust anyone.
My god, the driving in Nepal is CRAZY. I was shocked at first when we were driving on the left lane but realized that it was like this in foreign countries but then we overtook lanes, cars were honking nonstop and people were walking in the middle of the streets like cars didn’t exist. It was a weird experience. I’m surprised at the few number of accidents in Nepal, despite the crappy driving laws. After the first real roller coaster ride in my life, we arrived at my uncle’s house in Shantinagar. After eating dinner and catching up with our relatives and friends, I went to sleep, anxious and excited for the next day.
Unfortunately, the following day didn’t go as I had planned. I was nauseous and my stomach hurt. I was sleeping the whole day as friends and family came to visit us. Eventually, I got a little better and went to the World Trade Center in Tripuweshor. Who knew Nepal had big malls like this? We met some friends from America there and afterwards, went to visit my grandma in Jhamsikhel. It was nice to get away from the crowded bustling streets of Kathmandu and go to tiny and relatively quiet Jhamsikhel. After spending some time at Jhamsikhel, I started feeling sick again so we went back to Shantinagar. I fell asleep immediately, tired and exhausted.
Eventually, my cousin Kaustuv started getting used to me and we played around on the computer or I helped him with his easy LKG schoolwork. For the first week that we were in Nepal, I didn’t get sick from the water (luckily) and took extra caution. We went shopping in Bishal Bazaar and New Road. I didn’t really like shopping in Nepal (not that I enjoyed it very much in America either). The bargaining and arguing system of shopping kept me intrigued however, and I enjoyed seeing my parents and adults quarreling with storekeepers over the prices of items. I made sure not to speak my good English, or else people would know that we were tourists and raise the price. Another WONDERFUL (sarcasm) experience in Kathmandu was the taxi rides. The taxi drivers didn’t look too professionally dressed and I was nervous to get on but then realized that the majority of Kathmandu’s population rides them without hesitation so I hopped in. I chuckled to myself at the end of the ride because of how badly rigged the taxi meters were. I had mentioned before that most taxi drivers didn’t look too professional, but the funny thing is that we rode on a taxi ONCE where the driver had displayed his driving and taxi license on the dashboard. It was rather surprising.
Another thing that really caught onto me in Nepal was the Fanta. I had never drunk such good Fanta in my whole life. I know most of you readers can agree with me on this, that the Fanta in Nepal is absolutely delicious and refreshing! It was way better than any soda in America. After a few days of taking the typical Nepali lifestyle in and adjusting to Nepal, it was time to head south to the Terai, specifically, Biratnagar to perform my Bratabandha ceremony. Also, my grandparents (my dad’s parents) lived there so it would be a great Family Gathering to meet all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I had heard that Biratnagar was very hot and very hard to adjust to so I went there prepared for whatever Biratnagar threw at me. We boarded Yeti Airlines on a sunny morning and headed to Biratnagar. I was surprised at the wonderful airline services of Yeti. For a 30 minute domestic flight, they served us Coke, Candy, Peanuts and offered Newspapers to read. The flight to Biratnagar was fantastic. I could see beautiful mountain ranges, rivers, lakes and the overall natural beauty of Nepal. After a 30 minute flight, we landed in Biratnagar.