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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Kathmandu, Nepal

Submitted by artbyjoe

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?


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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

No, slowly learning simple things. Just saying "Dhanyabat", thank you, always brings a smile.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?


How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Not significant. Expected conditions to be much worse than I found. Of course, I am staying in the tourist area of Tamal. Here they cater to the needs of Westerners. Hotels all have flush toilets and showers. No heat, but Kathmandu never gets really hot and never freezes. The problem is that everything is concrete and brick, so they tend to feel cold at night. Temperature drops into the high 30's at night. We are here in the dry season (winter) and plan to leave before summer. (monsoon season).

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Haven't been here long enough for rejection phase.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

None. The restaurants have a varied menu. Just don't expect hamburgers. You also are advised to drink only bottled water and avoid eating uncooked fresh vegetables. Lots of oranges and bananas on the street. Apples also, but they should be washed well. You can get meat in most dishes, they just don't have beef. They have buff, which is the equivalent of water buffalo. Can't tell the difference.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

The people you interact with appreciate you being there.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The beggars.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Perhaps unknowingly.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Don't worry about it too much. Just enjoy it.

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