While we were in Nepal we read/heard quite a few nice stories which we would like to document and share.

A Taxi, a Fence and a Bowl of Ice-Cream
or
How to Empty Your Bank Account in Under 12 Hours

One evening, Ben, a young volunteer, was returning home after an “exerting” night out. So far, the day had gone well, but things were about to change.

Deciding that the distance home was too far for his weary legs, he flagged down a taxi for the 100Rs journey. However, the taxi driver did not think it was a 100Rs journey and insisted on 300. Considering the other option was walking, Ben agreed to this inflated price and off they went.

It was after 45 minutes of what should have been a 10 minute journey that Ben asked the driver if he knew where he was. In a similar fashion to how many Nepalis answer questions, the man waggled his head from side to side.

“Yes yes. No problem.”

Unconvinced, Ben started looking for landmarks and by the time he recognises one he asked to alight here. By this point, Ben’s taxi had gained an extra passenger who seemed to be a friend of the driver.

“500Rs,” demanded the driver.

“Look, its not my fault if you got lost, we agreed 300.”

The man in the back of the taxi, who up to this point had remained silent, leaned forward.

“You pay 1000Rs.”

Feeling like this might be an opportunity for him not to get mugged, Ben reluctantly paid, and walked the rest of the way. First unpleasantry of the night.

Unfortunately, when Ben returned, all the doors and windows, some of which he had deliberately left open, were now locked. This he only discovered after scaling the fence and the building and in the process ripping his trousers. Unpleasantry number 2.

Number 3: having recently moved houses, Ben returned to the empty old one, which he had previously had great success in “breaking” into. But, to Ben’s dismay, the doors had been replaced and the windows had all been locked. He had nowhere to go.

It was now 1am. He collected his thoughts and returned to town in the hope of finding a room. To no avail. All of the reasonably priced places were either full or closed, so Ben turned his sights to more luxurious destinations.

After checking various Ritz-like hotels, Ben was forced towards the 2nd most expensive hotel in the whole of Nepal.

“The only room we have available is the Ambassador’s Suite.”

“How much is that?”

“800 dollars.”

Ben proceeded to give the man a made-up sob story involving girl friends, abandonment and volunteering, and the man at the desk agreed to give him the Suite for just under 200 dollars. Unpleasantry number 4.

Slumping into his 200 dollar bed, Ben had that feeling that we have all had at some point after a night out. He was hungry. So hungry in fact that there was no way he was going to get to sleep without eating. This, he thought, called for room service. A bowl of ice-cream was delivered, which Ben later told us was “remarkably reasonably priced”.

An expensive night…

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