Prepping for India and Nepal, Part 2

By UrbanAnthropod, March 26, 2010 5:19 pm

How Terrorists ruin it for the rest of us

After two visits to the Indian consulate, the passports were stamped. Almost… One was being held back due to a background check. And it appears that the check will not be completed in time for the trip. In the end, two days is what holds back this visa. The check takes 6 weeks, which the consulate insists cannot be expedited. More importantly, the question was raised at the consulate again in person, “What if we leave to Nepal for a few days and return for our onward flight home?” Numerous hand-waving responses were given again. It’s going to work out, I know it. But this uncertainty lingers. Too many other stories are out there on the net that say different things when it comes to the customs agents enforcement of the new 2 month re-entry rule on the multiple entry visa.

Money transfers

So I’d been battling this fund transfer since January. I had arranged for a private tour of the Kathmandu Valley for our group of 4 with a local guide referred by a co-worker’s cousin. Everything was set with the itinerary. My list of things I wanted to see/do were on there and we were all satisfied with the price. But since it is a private tour from a local, the issue of money proved difficult. The major problem that banks and credit unions have with this international money transfer is the address. Nepal just doesn’t have any concept of street addresses. And the banks here won’t electronically transfer funds to a bank without an address. This is all really silly. We all know that when we do direct deposit or electronic transfers within the country, all you need are the routing number of the bank and your account number. It really shouldn’t be this difficult. We tried multiple banks/credit unions between our group to no avail. In the end, we were offered the option of Western Union. My cynicism about these things leads me to believe that this whole address issue is related to terrorism once again. What can I do about it? As it turns out, this turned out to be more economical since Western Union only charged $10 for the transaction (while making out slightly on the exchange rate), while the banks/credit unions wanted to charge in excess of $35. Now that I’ve handled the down payment for our Nepal excursion, I’m patitently waiting for our guide to get ack to us on the fact that our party size has halved since our last communications. Couple more weeks. Let’s hope this turns out O.K.

Related posts:

  1. Prepping for India and Nepal, Part 1
  2. Transit through India
  3. Taming Thamel
  4. Prepping for India and Nepal, Part 3
  5. Nepal Maoists

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