My companion Pakistan and I infiltrated customs at one of Nepal's eastern border towns as prepared as former U.S. VP (under the first Bush) Dan Quayle was for spoken communication. Two of his many quotes are, "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century," and, "I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
The Nepalese customs officials conveyed they only accepted US dollars for visa payment.
I had $45 but Pakistan only had $20. I handed them $40 and Pakistan $5.
"Do you accept $40US equivalent in Indian rupees?" he asked.
"No, only US."
"Okay... do you accept Nepalese rupees?"
"No. No Indian or Nepalese rupees. Only US."
"Is there anywhere in this city I can exchange rupees for US dollars?"
"Okay. Is there an ATM in this city where I can take out dollars?"
"Okay. Here's $25. That's all I have," Pakistan pronounced and propelled the money towards them. He was clearly under the impression that he was Buddha and above such pedestrian procedures as full payment.
The two officials, Good and Generous, accepted this as if it were as commonplace as the many stray dogs sauntering the streets.
"Visa pictures?" they next requested.
"Visa pictures? Like passport picture? I don't have a passport picture!" I informed Pakistan.
He shrugged, said he obtained ten in China for this purpose, and passed them two photos.
"I'm sorry, but I don't have any pictures. Can I get them taken somewhere?" I asked.
"No. Nowhere to take pictures," Generous responded.
"Dude, this border town should not be a border town," I whispered to Pakistan as if I were in Afghanistan announcing I joined the US Navy standing three feet from a Taliban member.
Good and Generous apparently didn't care that we lacked money and pictures like the Taliban lacks a forceful female leader, as they issued us our fifteen-day visas with grins and well-wishes.
We later learned that a fifteen-day visa is $25US and a thirty-day visa is $40US.
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