My flight from Helsinki to Kathmandu was very relaxing. One and half hours delay at Istanbul Airport for my onward flight was no surprise. Turkish Airlines has a lot of delays towards Kathmandu, I was previously warned for that. 🙂
Amir, my contact person at Royal Mountain Travel made sure I was picked up at the Airport in Kathmandu. Merely one runway, a long cue at immigration department and my 4 luggage belts had to face a chaotic situation getting out of the main building. The Driver was right where Amir had told me to find him, better yet, the driver found me. The ride for me was already busy with traffic, but as one of my roommates said that Saturday was a day off in Nepal and it would be bit less rush hour comparing to the rest of the weekdays.
I was really tired after the flight since I just could not sleep on the plane, and call it poor preparation but I had no idea where I was supposed to live or what my workplace would look like. I just thought and hoped everything would be arranged perfectly.
My first impressions of Nepal and more specifically Kathmandu were:
Poor air quality
They drive on the other side of the road compared to Finland
Traffic is confusing and chaotic, there seems to be no rules
The scenery and the view of the mountains is spectacular
People are nice and friendly
Religion are shown from the street scene
In my first week I learned a lot of good practical issues on how I am supposed to live here. My roommates (a Dutch guy and a French-Canadian girl) told me a lot of things about Nepal. They had lived here before and are more used to with the Nepali lifestyle. This helped me to adapt here, a little. They took me around the city, introduced me to different places of Kathmandu. A big thanks to them!
It took me a week of getting used to all things, warm and humid days as well as heavy rain showers, lots of dust, crazy Thamel with all the bars, restaurants and outdoor shops and meeting new people at the office, and outsiders through the office staff. Local food is good and, so far, not a stomach issue. Live music on Wednesday at Jazz upstairs introduced me to the live music that you can find almost every night in Thamel, The Seto Macchindrnath festival was my first encounter of how Nepali deal with tradition and religion, and the Friday night at Purple Haze Rock Bar has become legendary already. What a crazy night!
The workplace is good and all the people are very friendly. Together with one of my roommates we share an improvised office on the top floor. Not bad making it to the executive Floor in the first week 🙂 The work environment is different. There seems to be less stress and it is more laid back compared to any other European office. I am adapting quickly to this way of life and am looking forward to the next 9 weeks.
The culture shock did not really happen and there is no sign of homesickness.
I dare to say that all went pretty well in the first week. I’m starting to get used to with the new country and life. I’m settling here and I have been well received. I’m ready to explore this fascinating country. Because, Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
*Juho Paukku is a Financial and Customer service student at the Helsinki Business College. He has come to Nepal for his Internship with Royal Mountain Travel and he will right down his experiences every week. Follow his adventures and insights here!