NAMASTE AND ASSALAMUALAIKUM FROM KATHMANDU
After a long break, we meet again in this blog. My extremely busy schedule is one of the major reasons as to why I have not posted any new writing in my own blog for quite a long time.
However, all this while almost every week I have been updating the "10 Daily Jokes" which can be read at the vertical column, on the right hand side of this blog.
I am now in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal since 3 weeks ago (4th February 2010) and I will be here for nearly 3 months.
Thus, I will start the revival of my blog posting by writing my story regarding my effort in providing guidance and training to my latest branch associates in Kathmandu, Nepal.
NATURAL FRIENDLINESS OF NEPALI PEOPLE
My flight to Kathmandu was on 4th February 2010. In fact when I was at the airport, lining up at the check-in counter of Nepal Airlines to fly to Kathmandu, I already felt I was in Nepal.
Looking around I can see many Nepali foreign workers in front and also at the back of me with their big luggage including electrical goods such as big screen television.
My luggage itself weighed nearly two times more than the allowable weight. I brought a lot of brochures with me regarding "Doing Business in Malaysia", "Malaysia My Second Home" and "Malaysian Higher Education".
This excess baggage will be even worse if I did not filter first which brochures I should bring and which brochures I need to set aside as I told my Nepali partner that I am going to Kathmandu by flight and not by driving a farmer lorry which I can load so many brochures at the back of the lorry.
Alhamdulillah (Praise to Allah) after I explained and showed to a senior officer at the check-in counter that the brochures are all related to my seminar to be held in Nepal regarding promoting Malaysia as a business destination for Nepali business community, he used his discretion to charge me much lesser for the excess baggage charge.
By the way, I saw a variety of Nepali faces lining up at the same queue with me on that day at the check-in counter. They were indeed very friendly to me.
Talking about friendliness, I already experienced the typical Nepali friendliness when I submitted my visa application to be in Nepal for 3 months to the Embassy of Nepal.
I remember very clearly, slightly before I left the visa counter at the Nepali Embassy, I asked the officer in charge at the visa counter: "Thank you for the visa. May I know your name, please". Unexpectedly that Nepali Embassy officer on duty at the visa section puts his hand out over the counter to shake my hand and said: "My name is Gangha".
If he just answered my answer, then it was normal but the fact that he put his hand out over the counter to shake hand with me showed the natural friendliness of this Nepali people. Will this such genuine friendliness ever occur at visa section of British Embassy or American Embassy? In your dream....
NEPAL AIRLINES "AUNTIE-LOOKING" STEWARDESS
Inside the Nepal Airlines, I found out the plane is not so advanced like Emirates Airline that I usually fly aboard. There is no monitor screen at the back of the passenger seat in front of me that would enable me to watch more than 100 films such as in Emirates Airline.
What I could see in front of me throughout more than 4 hours flight journey was only the back of the head of a Nepali worker who was very excited to reach their home at Kathmandu. I can see their hair also looked full of excitement. Well, what can I say. After a few months or maybe few years staying abroad this Nepali workers must be missing their family so much.
More so if he is a married man whom in a few hours time will be seeing his beloved wife again whom for a long time he has never seen. I cannot imagine the height of passion when later he touches his wife again. Surely the pleasure and excitement of having a "first night" with his wife again is 3000 times more than the pleasure, excitement and the joy of reaching the peak of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world located in Nepal.
Another thing worth mentioning is all this while I have never met any Nepali girl before. If I am not mistaken almost all the Nepali foreign workers in Malaysia are male workers.
Although Manisha is a Nepali actress, she made her name in Bollywood after making her acting debut in Bollywood with Subhash Ghai's top-grossing movie "Saudagar" in 1991.
Her grandfather Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala was the Prime Minister of Nepal during the late 50s and early 60s, while her other great grand uncle, Girija Prasad Koirala was also a former Prime Minister of Nepal.
I told everybody in Nepal that in Malaysia the famous Nepali is indeed Manisha Koirala and not the former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and definitely not the "fat and not so pretty" Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala.
So when I entered the Nepal Airlines I was surprised to see that some of the stewardess who are indeed Nepali looks very much like a Malay lady or at least look like a mixed of Malay & Chinese parentage.
However some of the stewardess looks like an "auntie' or "old veteran" face to me. I believe if this is Malaysian Airlines, surely this "veteran looking" stewardess must have been grounded to work at ticketing counter or customer support only.
But make no mistake, I found out later this "auntie-looking" stewardess was indeed very friendly and very helpful and she has provided a first class service to the passengers.
LANDED AT TRIBHUVAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The only reason I have chosen to fly with Nepal Airlines was because it was a direct flight to Kathmandu compared to if I took other airlines which I have to transit at Mumbai or New Delhi. My flight safely landed at Tribhuvan International Airport at around 10:30am Kathmandu times. The first impression that I got was Tribhuvan International Airport is not as big or as modern as Kuala Lumpur International Airport or London Heathrow Airport.
However, the Nepali Immigration Officer looked genuinely very friendly. He never asked me the purpose as to why I travel to Nepal like the "sarcastic fierce looking" British Immigration Officer at Heathrow who always asked me a lot of silly questions as if they still think their country is a damn good country and still a goldmine for people like me to live in.
The moment I came out from the airport I looked around searching for my Nepali branch partner, Umesh Adhikari. At first I failed to find him. I was wondering where he was, because in his email that I received the night before I left for Kathmandu he told me that he would pick me up at Tribhuvan International Airport.
After 5 minutes searching for him, finally I found him at the waiting area outside the main building of Tribhuvan International Airport.
He told me that initially he did not recognize me because in my photo at my blog's profile I look much older with a darker skin. He said when he saw me for the first time at the airport I look very much younger and having fairer skin. That's why he did not recognize me instantaneously.
I told him that I already 40 years old and my eldest daughter is already 15 years old. In the car on the way to my accommodation place, he repeatedly said that I look very much younger than he expected.
Since he repeatedly insinuating that I look too young than he expected, at that time in my heart I wanted to tell him something like this: "Well, if you think I look too young and inexperienced, then get that beautiful Manisha Koirala to marry me. I can guarantee you that every year we will have a baby.
As a matter of fact, since human being takes only 9 months pregnancy to get a baby (unlike an elephant which needs 22 months pregnancy) I guess it is entirely possible for me to get within one calendar year 2 new born babies if I ever marry Manisha Koirala.
How can that happen? It's easy, one is for January "intake" (January born) and another baby is for December "intake" (December born) in the same year. You see...not only student admission in Malaysian university has got different intakes.
So this means in 5 years marriage I would be able to give Manisha Koirala 10 children considering the fact that each year we can have 2 children.
But wait for a minute. The good news is if during each delivery we would be able to get twins babies, then it is also entirely possible that in 5 years time I can give Manisha Koirala 20 children; If in one year 2 deliveries (January and December) and each delivery are twin babies, that will make it 4 babies in 1 year and 20 in 5 years. That's the manhood superpower of the descendant of Majapahit Palace warrior like me!
Having said that I still stubbornly say that my wife, a sweet Kelantanese lady, remains the most beautiful woman in my eyes created by Allah specially for me. Absolutely. Without any shadow of doubt.
MY PURPOSE TO BE IN KATHMANDU FOR 3 MONTHS
In Kathmandu, I am working together with 2 young Nepali businessmen to set up my Nepali branch associate in Kathmandu. So I will be in Kathmandu for 3 months to provide guidance and training to my Nepali branch associates, as well as developing and exploring market together with them.
The two very dynamic Nepali young businessmen who are now my Nepali branch partners are Umesh Adhikari and Basu Rijal.
Similar to what I have done in Sudan and Manchester, my Nepali branch also provides 3 services to the Nepali public:
(1) Consultancy on "Doing Business in Malaysia"
(2) Consultancy on "Malaysia My Second Home Programme"
(3) Consultancy on "Malaysian Higher Education"
When I was in Sudan, my 3 Sudanese partners (Mr Abdul Jalil Abujjoud, Mr Mohammad Abujjoud and Mr Mutasim Osman) were all older than me in term of age but in Kathmandu the scenario is different. Umesh Adhikari is just 30 years old and Basu Rijal is only 34 years old. Both of them are younger than me because I am already 40 years old.
So when Umesh told me that his son is 15 months old, I replied to him that my eldest daughter is already 15 years old. What a difference!
Actually Umesh and Basu have already set up a company by the name of "Google Educational Foundation Pvt Ltd" since 5 years ago. However, this company solely focus on giving consultancy to the Nepali students who wish to study overseas only. This including study in Malaysia.
Thus, my purpose here is to set up another business in Nepal solely dedicated to the above 3 services, working hand in hand with these two Nepali young dynamic businessmen.
I actually do not know as to how to start telling the story about my experience I had for the past three weeks in Kathmandu. There are indeed so many exciting stories to tell. Let me start with the weather in Nepal.
THE COLD WEATHER
December, January and February are considered winter season in Nepal. So it is very cold here in Nepal. The weather report printed at "The Himalayan Times" newspaper on Friday, 26th February stated that the minimum temperature at places like Jomsom is -2 degree Celsius while at Kathmandu the minimum temperature is 5 degree Celsius.
Knowing that the main latitude and longitude of Nepal is 28° North and 84° East, it is not surprising that the minimum temperature in certain part of Nepal can go as low as -2 degree Celsius.
By the way, for those who do not know geography terminology well, this "Longitude" has got nothing to do whatsoever with the famous Longan fruit in Malaysia, okay.
The worst part is, unlike in Manchester where I used to live, over here in Nepal there is no "Gas Central Heating Systems". On the other hand, the small heater in my room uses electricity power to run.
And the "good news" is currently there is electricity load-shedding in Nepal whereby more than 11 hours per day is guaranteed there is no electricity supply in Kathmandu. It is not unusual that sometimes it can be 16 hours load-shedding per day as it was in January 2009.
Most of the night time in my apartment area there will be no electricity supply. So when the temperature goes down as low as 1 or 2 degree Celsius during night time I feel very cold because I only use my duvet to cover my body while sleeping. The heater only can be used if there is electricity supply.
That's why when I send an email to one of my Sudanese clients who is a businessman with two wives, I jokingly told him that he is very lucky to have two wives staying in one house because during a very cold night he can hug his two wives whereas here in Nepal I have got no wife to hug. Instead, I only have my own legs and knees to hug in a very cold night and the worst part is my legs are not as sexy as Nicole Kidman's leg to hug!
In Nepal, the Nepal Electricity Authority has already prepared a "Load-Shedding Schedule", outlining the time frame as to when the electricity supply should be available in various different areas in Kathmandu Valley and also for the whole Nepal.
For each other day there is a different period of time as to when there is no electricity supply in different area. For example, in my office area, on Thursday there will be no electricity supply from 10am to 4pm. Only at 4pm there is electricity supply but then from 6pm until 11pm the electricity is "off" again.
Yes, you are right, you do not need to be a Mathematics genius to figure out that on Thursday in my office area the electricity supply is only available for 2 hours only (from 4pm to 6pm).
Although there is electricity supply again from 11pm to 3am, my question is who actually want to work after 11pm midnight?
Unless my company's partner name is Mr Dracula Bin Vampire (who only appears to "work" after midnight) I don't think anybody else wants to come to office at 11pm midnight to start working.
And for your information, this electricity supply will be "off" again at 3am Friday early morning. I think if this Mr Dracula opens his branch office in Nepal, he also cannot do his paperwork well because by 3am his office will be in the dark again.
The Load Shedding Schedule is different for each day and for different area. For me, there is no way I can memorize the schedule because in one day there are at least two different periods of time that the electricity supply will not be available.
So my Nepali partner, Umesh has kindly printed out the Load-Shedding Schedule in a pocket size format so that I can bring everywhere in my pocket. Anyhow, my office area and my apartment area are located in two different group areas in the schedule.
The only good thing about this power outage as compared to the situation in Khartoum (when I was there helping my Sudanese partner to open our Sudan branch) is at least in Nepal we are well informed as to when is the time there is electricity supply and when there is not.
In Sudan, sometimes when I was in toilet with my body full of soap, having my bath like Beyonce Knowles, rubbing soap all over my beautiful body, out of sudden there was no electricity. Imagine the difficulty for me to find the water tap and to grab my towel during that sudden power outage time.
However, I must say that Nepal Electricity Authority is generally very punctual when comes to the time of load-shedding in certain area because they strictly follow the load-shedding schedule.
Thus, if the schedule says that at 10am there is electricity in the area, then almost 99.9% guaranteed at 10am sharp the lights will be "on". However, this punctuality will also apply when the electricity is "off". They will not delay, not even for a minute.
The funny thing is there was one time our Nepali branch staff (Pratima) was in the midst of printing a very important quotation for our client when the electricity supply was cut off due to the load-shedding schedule. Pratima ended up with only a quarter page of the quotation managed to be printed. The client must be thinking that we try to be funny if we hand over to him this quarter page printed quotation.
NEPAL NEXT IN QUAKE LINE AFTER HAITI
As a descendant of Majapahit Palace warrior, I know I can give a good fight to anybody who try to do any harm to me or to my family.
I am not sure whether I will loose or win if 200 people come and attack me at the same time. But loose and win is a separate issue. One thing that I can very sure is if there are 200 people come to my room to attack me, then it is my moral duty as the descendant of Majapahit Palace warrior to ensure each of them brings back home the effect of the ever powerful Majapahit "Jurus Puaka" (powerful punch) or at least "Jurus Sapu Jagat". That's for sure. (By the way, I am sorry, I am not able to find a precise English translation for this unique words "Jurus Sapu Jagat").
Having said that, I suddenly felt as if my 100 kilogram body turned to a small "Mickey Mouse" when I read in "The Himalayan Times" front page news on 11th February that Nepal is most probably the next country that will face devastating earthquake after Haiti.
Well, when comes to God's natural disaster, nobody can say he or she is too strong to be affected. When 8 magnitude earthquake struck, I am very sure even Hulk Hogan will cry like a baby wearing a diaper and Tarzan will surely loose his underwear that he has never washed in his life time.
Thus, I was shivering when reading that front page news which says:
"Geologists say it is only a matter of time before a major earthquake hits the densely populated Kathmandu, where 2.5 million people live in cramped, poorly-built housing with little or no awareness of the dangers. Nepal sits on the border between two huge plates that have moved together over millions of years to form the Himalayas. Geologists believe it is at risk from an earthquake with a magnitude of around eight which is TEN times as powerful as the Haiti shock. Nepal has not suffered a major quake for decades".
And expert David Petley believes the country is woefully unprepared. According to Petley, a professor of hazard and risk at Britain’s Durham University:
“From a geological perspective the risk seems to be very large indeed. The area to the west of Kathmandu is undergoing the processes that drive earthquakes, and there has not been a quake on that section of the fault for hundreds of years. The larger the time gap between quakes the larger the quake is going to be.”
In addition, a Nepali geologist Amod Dixit who was working for the Nepal government on landslide prevention in 1988 when a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the east of the country also did not deny this possibility of a devastating earthquake that will struck Kathmandu.
Hello, Hello, Excuse me, since this is geologist Amod Dixit who commented about earthquake, then I have to believe it. If it was just an advice from that Hindi beautiful actress Madhuri Dixit, then I do not give a damn to pay any serious attention. These two "Dixit" are totally two different "Dixit".
The best I will do if this actress Madhuri Dixit tries to advice me on earthquake in Nepal is I will softly but repeatedly replied to her: "You're beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful, It's true..." like the lyrics of James Blunt romantic song.
Then on 22 February, again "The Himalayan Times" made my big stomach suddenly became very small like the sexy stomach of Aishwarya Rai when it stated in its article at page 8:
"In the last 75 years, Nepal has experienced two major earthquakes, one in 1934 and the other one in 1988. The 8.3 Richter scale’s quake of 1934 had claimed 8,518 lives, half of it in the Kathmandu valley alone, and more than 80,000 houses were destroyed".
"During the quake of 1988, 721 people lost their lives, 6500 were injured and 22,000 houses were collapsed. An earthquake of similar magnitude as the one that hit Nepal in the past and recently to Port-au-Prince can hit Kathmandu any time. It is impossible to predict when the next earthquake will strike Nepal, however, Nepal’s seismic record indicates that earthquake of the 1934 magnitude occur approximately every 75 years which means it may occur at any time now onwards".
Do you hear that? Anytime now, my friend. Anytime. Anytime now. So scary man!
This article further sacred me to death with its statement:
"According to the Nepal Red Cross Society’s Earthquake Contingency Plan 2008, an earthquake measuring 7-8 Richter scale will destroy 60 percent of buildings of Kathmandu. These all studies clearly show that if a powerful earthquake takes place in the capital, the loss of life and property would be unimaginable. Similarly, as per a recent report by Japan International Cooperation (JICA), 12 percent of the population will die."
I almost ran to the airport to get out from Nepal when I further read that:
"Like Haiti, Nepal is also a vulnerable country from the disaster point of view, as experts say Nepal is in the seismically very active Himalayan mountain belt. Of all the cities in the world, Kathmandu has the highest risk, according to seismographic studies"
Let me summarize this topic of Nepal earthquake with the "GeoHazards International's Study of Cities Vulnerable to Earthquake" which states that:
"Kathmandu ranked first among the cities vulnerable to earthquake, followed by Istanbul, Delhi, Quito, Manila and Islamabad, all of which could expect fatalities in the tens of thousands if disaster struck".
Scary, Scary, Scary. Come on, let us have a plate of mutton curry which is better than being carried away with scary feeling. In short, "Mutton Curry" is better than "Scary". Seriously. Only goat would say mutton curry is also a cause for scary feeling!
Let me proceed to tell you more of my business-related story that perhaps can make an adrenaline-motivated businessman like me keeps going and feel highly motivated again to continue staying in Kathmandu.
Over here in Kathmandu Valley, Umesh and Basu actually have 3 different offices located at 3 different places.
The first office which is located at Thamel area is solely for his tourist agency business (http://www.diversenepal.com).
The second office which is located at Bagbazar area is for his education consultancy business that provides consultancy services to Nepali students who wish to study in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, New Zealand and USA.
While the third office which is the new office is located at Jamal Kantipath area, dedicated to provide the 3 services that I am now providing my guidance to them (i.e consultancy on "Doing Business in Malaysia", consultancy on "Malaysia My Second Home" and "Malaysian Higher Education").
This office at Jamal Kantipath area is in the same vicinity with the Election Commission of Nepal headquarters. It is also just 200 meters away from the residential complex of US Embassy.
As a matter of fact, the landlord of our Nepal branch office said that a very very long time ago our office was actually the former US Embassy office. That shows how strategically located this Jamal Kantipath office is.
In this Jamal Kantipath office, I will be working together with Umesh's partner (Basu Rijal) and his staff (Pratima Manandhar) throughout these 3 months to develop the market for those 3 services.
Basu Rijal is a Bahoon ethnic (not Baboon and also not Beehoon noodle, okay) and Pratima is a Newar ethnic. In term of religion, Basu Rijal is a Hindu while Pratima, on the other hand is a vegetarian Buddhist.
Thus, my mind is at peace when dealing with Pratima because no matter how angry Pratima is, there is no possibility for her to eat my 110 kilogram body flesh because she is a vegetarian.
As for this "Calvin Klein's model face" Basu Rijal, I need to be extra careful with him because as a Hindu he is only not allowed to eat beef or cow's meat. I guess there is no prohibition for him to eat me if I do something wrong that makes his high blood pressure goes up as high as the summit of Mount Everest!
By the way, in Sudan my apartment room was just next to my Sudan branch office which means I did not need to have a long walk to reach my office. I practically can "jump" from my room to reach our Sudan office.
However, in Nepal, my Nepali partners have prepared for me an accommodation at the end of Thamel area which is totally different area from the office area at Jamal Kantipath.
In other words, in Nepal everyday I have to walk 25 minutes from my apartment located at the end of Thamel area to the office at Jamal Kantipath area.
This means a 105kg "Gorilla-body" like me who never really walk in Malaysia have to do a total of 50 minutes walking to-and from the office everyday.
My misery is not ended here because during lunch time I have to walk another 20 minutes to a halal restaurant located at Bagbazar area. So, another total of 40 minutes to and from office just for having my halal lunch.
I remember in Malaysia even for having a lunch, I would park my car very near to the restaurant entrance, so much so, if I wish I can just "fly" from my car seat to the restaurant table. This shows how lazy I was to walk when in Malaysia.
During "crying" while walking, I sometimes remember my Sudanese partner's "Denzel Washington look-alike" (Mr Abdul Jalil) smiling face because how different my situation in Sudan as compared to in Nepal.
In Sudan, I only need to walk when I want to buy Shawarma, which is just 3 minutes walking from my Sudan branch office.
Having said that, I am still very grateful to both of my Nepali partners (Umesh Adhkari & Basu Rijal) for preparing a nice apartment for me to stay during these 3 months training and guiding them to develop the market in Nepal.
Actually I have made it clear to them that for me, just a small room for accommodation is enough, and no need for them to prepare one house or one apartment for my accommodation because I sincerely do not want to inconvenient them.
The most important thing is for me to guide and train them as to how to develop the market for those 3 services, so that after the 3 months period ended they will be able to run the new business by themselves and continuously generate clients to come to Malaysia to do business or to apply for Malaysian My Second Home Programme or to study in Malaysian universities.
WHY DO I SAY I FEEL LIKE A 5-STAR MILITARY GENERAL IN NEPAL
My partner Umesh Adhikar and Basu Rijal have got 3 staffs (if including Umesh's wife there are 4 staffs altogether excluding Umesh and Basu). They are Pratima Manandhar, Babita Sreshta and Sunmala Giri.
However, Babita and Sunmala are handling operations at Bagbazar office and not directly involve in my day-to-day activity in Nepal.
On the other hand, Pratima is the one who is helping me and Mr Basu for all my marketing programme during these 3 months in Nepal. Pratima's main duty is to assist me and to set up appointments for me to go to client's office with Mr Basu Rijal in order to do presentation on "Doing Business in Malaysia" or "Malaysia My Second Home'" Programme.
Similar to the Sudanese staff (Badreldin Bebiker), this Pratima Manandhar is also a very capable and highly discipline staff.
Pratima is a very dedicated staff who always come to office on time. Not only that. So far, whatever assistance or duty that I need her to do, she will do with dedication, passion and high commitment.
One thing that I see quite unique about Pratima is at the end of every single statement that she said to me, she will end up with the word "sir" such as: "Yes sir". "I will do that sir". "No problem sir". "I will prepare as you requested sir". "I am sorry sir".
I think if I really count, maybe more than 20 times the word "sir" is uttered by Pratima per day whenever she talks to me.
Each time she utters the world "sir" while talking to me, I will feel as if I am a 5 star military General Khairul Hisham. Its easy to implement a business plan and marketing plan here by having such a dedicated staff like Pratima.
But please do not get me wrong, Pratima is not only good at obeying instructions, but also she is a very intelligent, fast learner and smart person because so far she has managed to secure many appointments with many high-ranking corporate leaders in Nepal such as Managing Director or General Manager of many banks and also with Chairman and General Manager of many big hotels and golf resorts, or with Country Manager of airlines companies.
The appointments secured by Pratima have enabled Basu Rijal and I to do our presentation to these corporate leaders at their offices regarding our company services: Consultancy in "Malaysia My Second Home Programme" or "Doing Business in Malaysia".
"Sir" or without "sir", I still think Pratima is an extremely dedicated and good employee. If I have my way, I want to "kidnap" and "steal" her from Umesh and Basu to be my staff in Malaysia office due to her capability and work dedication.
No wonder in my second week here we have already managed to close the deal with the General Manager of a 5 star international chain hotel and in the process of getting the Chairman of an airline to be our valued client.
UNIVERSITY LECTURE AT 6AM EARLY MORNING?
Besides having a bachelor degree from the oldest university in Nepal (Tribhuvan University), Pratima is also currently doing a Master in Business Studies at the same university.
You must be wondering as to when does this Pratima go to university to do her Master if she works full time everyday from Sunday to Friday.
You will be surprised or "terkejut beruk" if I say she is having her classes or lectures from 6:15am early morning until 9am, daily Sunday to Friday,
Yes, you hear me right my friend. The lecture or university class in Nepali university starts as early as 6:15am in the morning. Since Nepali office hours in winter time start at 10am, she would have enough time to go to work soon after the daily lectures ended at 9am.
What about 6:15am morning university lecture in Malaysia? I think at 6:15am in Malaysia, most of the university lecturers or professors are still proudly brushing their teeth at that time. I also believe at 6:15am none of them even has taken any breakfast yet.
I am surprised that in Nepal the university lecture or class starts as early as 6:15am. Even my 6 years old son (Mahathir Khatami) always gave my wife a "silent treatment" as a way of his peaceful demonstration whenever my wife asks him to go to his PASTI (Pusat Asuhan Tunas-Tunas Islam) Islamic kindergarten earlier than normal.
Another thing about office hours in Nepal is the "off-day" or weekly rest day falls on Saturdays. Not Fridays like in Sudan, or Saturdays and Sundays like in Malaysia. This means even on Sundays, the Nepalis are working.
However, on Saturdays which should be an "off-day" in Nepal, my workaholic Nepalese partners (Umesh Adhikari and Basu Rijal) have already lined up a weekly Mini Seminar on "Doing Business In Malaysia" and "Malaysia My Second Home" (MM2H) for me to give my talk on both subject matters.
The main reason as to why we decided to do this Mini Seminar every Saturday is because on Saturdays many bosses or managers are not very busy and not working. Thus, we hope this would enable them to attend our weekly Mini Seminar.
To show their seriousness in promoting "Doing Business in Malaysia" and "Malaysia My Second Home" Programme, my Nepali partners also place an advertisement in two newspapers, "The Himalayan Times" and "The Republica" on Friday and Saturday every week, inviting Nepali business community to attend my Mini Seminar.
This means in Nepal I am practically working full 7 days a week, non-stop. It is very tiring but I value and enjoy every minute of it, especially when seeing the dedication and great interest shown by Umesh, Basu and Pratima promoting those 3 services.
This 7 days-a-week working also explain as to why even on Saturday and Sunday for the past three weeks in Kathmandu I have got no time to write my blog.
Another biggest problem that cause the delay of writing my blog here is the electricity problem. As I wrote earlier the electricity load-shedding (rationing) in Nepal means at least there will be 11 hours guaranteed no electricity supply everyday.
The "beautiful" part is even if the electricity is finally "on", there is no guarantee that the internet can be connected. For example to write this blog, although the electricity in my apartment area is "on" at 6pm today, I only get the internet connection very much later at around 8pm.
The way I see it, all these problems in Nepal is indeed good for my business because from my own observation during the past 3 weeks here in Kathmandu there a lot of rich people who want to get out from this country.
As a problem solver, I am now persuading them to live in a "Paradise on Planet Earth" called "Malaysia", instead of USA, UK, Canada or Australia.
MY NEPALI PARTNERS; UMESH ADHIKARI (NOT "UMESH ADA KARI") AND BASU RIJAL (NOT "BUSUK RIJAL") DESERVED TO BE AWARDED A "DATUK" TITLE
They have done a lot of effort for the past 5 years introducing Malaysia as the international hub for quality higher education for international students, to the Nepali parents and students,
I know they have spent a lot of their personal money to promote Malaysia since 5 years ago at the time when many Nepalis still thought Malaysia was just a foreign workers destination country.
And apart from spending money on continuous advertisements in newspaper about Malaysian Higher Education, these ambitious Nepali businessmen also publish a free newsletter entitled "Scholar's Malaysia" on monthly basis.
Umesh, Basu and their staff diligently distribute their "Scholar's Malaysia" newsletters to various institution such as banks, colleges, and offices around Kathmandu Valley.
Every month they spent their own money to publish 3,000 copies of "Scholar's Malaysia" newsletter without any financial aid or any so-called grant from the Malaysian government, just to educate Nepali public about Malaysia as the international higher education hub as demonstrated by the fact that now there are about 71,000 international students studying in Malaysia.
Before they started their effort 5 years ago, a lot of Nepalis only think USA, UK, Canada and Australia as the destinations for overseas quality education.
However, due to continuous effort made by these two dedicated and ambitious young businessmen, nowadays Malaysia's name is well known as one of the preferred destination for overseas study.
Not only that, since 2007 both of them single-handedly organized "Malaysian Education Fair" at hotel. They invited a couple of Malaysian university representatives to open booth at the "Malaysian Education Fair" organized by them.
There is no doubt that all this while the Embassy of Malaysia at Kathmandu has been extremely supportive on the effort made by these two Nepali young businessmen, promoting Malaysia as the world class hub for higher education but financially both of them have sacrificed a lot of their personal savings in order to promote Malaysia.
As a matter of fact my presence in Kathmandu is to add another two more services related to Malaysia which are consultancy on "Doing Business in Malaysia" and consultancy on "Malaysia My Second Home" Programme to their existing consultancy on "Malaysian Higher Education services".
At the same time, I also will make use my 3 months stay here in Kathmandu to strengthen their existing business of promoting "Malaysian Higher Education" because at present my company is also a recruitment agency company for 15 universities and university colleges in Malaysia.
The other effort that my Nepali new partners have made to promote Malaysia's name is by putting Malaysian name and flag very distinctly on their signboard or hoarding board. In fact I am very proud to see my beloved county's name and flag printed on the hoarding board, among thousands of other companies' signboards in Kathmandu.
EVEN MR BEAN HAS YET TO BE AWARDED THE TITLE "SIR"
Please allow me to say that these two young Nepali businessmen (Umesh Adhikari and Basu Rijal) much more deserved to get a "Datuk" title than some pathetic young UMNO youth leaders who already got a "Datuk" title although in actual fact they certainly have not made any real significant contribution to Malaysia or to Malaysian public at large (except perhaps getting government contracts or grants for them and their cronies)
Without trying to be dramatic, I must confess that I nearly vomit or throw up reading in newspapers some time ago that an UMNO youth committee member who is only in his 30s in term of age and definitely has no made any great contribution to the nation, yet has already been awarded a "Datuk Seri" title.
We are not talking about a "Datuk" title here, but a more prestigious "Datuk Seri" title. What an insult to our intelligence. Our country became the laughing stock of the world because of this matter. Indeed. For me, he is not a Datuk Seri, instead he is a "Datuk takberSeri". Period.
In England, even Mr Bean who is very famous worldwide has yet to be awarded with the title "Sir" by Queen Elizabeth. Both British monarchy and British government are really very particular in preserving the sanctity of the title "Sir", unlike in our beloved country.
If you ask me whether I am proud or not that one of my juniors in MRSM Muar who used to serve in Abdullah Badawi's administration got a "Datuk" title 2 years ago during Federal Territory Day, my answer is a firm "No"
Why? It is because I see nothing great about this new young Datuk's contribution to our nation. He has done virtually nothing to Malaysia. By virtue of his position, he only qualified to be called the chief "Spin Doctor" of Abdullah's administration because from my observation the only thing he has done was nothing but making full use of the government-controlled main stream media to project a good image of the then PM who was undoubtedly the weakest and slowest PM that Malaysian ever had.
For your information, nowadays I always jokingly address these two Nepali young businessmen who are now my Nepali branch partners as "Datuk Umesh" and "Datuk Basu" because in my eyes these two young men who continuously making effort after effort promoting Malaysia in Nepal especially in higher education sector for the past 5 years deserved more recognition for their noble effort than those pathetic young politicians in Malaysia.
However, deep in my heart I hope my fellow Malaysians will not mistakenly pronounce their name as "Umesh Ada Kari" or "Busuk Rijal" because "Ada Kari" (literally means "Curry is Available" in Malay) has got a totally different meaning from Umesh Adhikari and "Busuk" (means "smelly") is also definitely not the same meaning with Basu Rijal.
Anybody who has met Umesh Adhikari in person will surely agree that his gorgeous face looks very much like a handsome Hindi Star actor. It is also not wrong for me to say that his face is a face of a successful businessman and definitely not a face of a restaurant worker who only deals with mutton curry.
While those who have met Basu Rijal surely agree if I say Basu's face certainly looks like one of Calvin Klein models who is definitely not smelly.
Enough for this week blog posting. There are many more topics for me to write for next week and many more weeks to come, such as my story:
(1) Regarding traffic condition in Kathmandu (it is guaranteed that for every 10 seconds you will hear car or motorcycle's horn in Kathmandu) (2) Regarding "Shivaratri" Festival that was held last week
(3) Regarding "Holi" Festival that is held today (ladies are the prime target to be thrown with balloon full of coloured-water during this interesting Festival of Colours)
(4) Regarding my audience with His Excellency Ambassador of Malaysia to Nepal on 5th February
(5) Regarding many executives wearing office blazer or full suit in Nepal riding motorcycle for appointments
(6) Regarding my experience seeing the effect of strike or "bandha" that paralyzed Kathmandu last week
(7) Regarding my personal evaluation on Nepali ladies
(8) Regarding various ethic groups living in Nepal such as Bahoon or Brahmin, Newar, Chhetri, Gurung, Tamang, Rai and others
(9) Regarding why some Nepalis are proud to be called "Gurkha" but some are offended to be called "Gurkha"
(10) Regarding daily cost of living in Nepal
(11) Regarding why I must need at least 2 to 3 months to guide and train my new branch associate worldwide
(12) Regarding there is no real law and order in Nepal (for example the Maoist cadres can simply stop any infrastructure projects that they don't like)
(13) Regarding the murder of Jamim Shah (the owner of Nepal first cable television), on the street of Kathmandu
(14) Regarding the practice of wearing nose and mouth mask whenever on the street, which makes me looks like a potential fat bank robber.
(15) Regarding Nepali typical food for breakfast, lunch and dinner
(16) Regarding Nepali national dress and headgear
And...many more stories to tell all you about my current experience living in Nepal. It is a hell of a lot of stories, good and bad, about Nepal to share with all of you. So watch out for my next blog posting.
At the meantime, please kindly take note that every 3 days from today I will be updating my "10 Daily Jokes" which you can read at the vertical column, on the right hand side of this blog.
Unfortunately, for this blog posting there are in fact 8 more photos that I have taken which I failed to upload to this blog. Perhaps it is because of the internet connection in Nepal today is not good enough to do the uploading of photo.
Those photos include:
(1) Photo of myself and His Excellency Ambassador of Malaysia to Nepal, H.E Dato' Ilankovan Kolandavelu, taken after my audience with His Excellency.
(2) Photo of Pratima Manandhar while working in the office
(3) Photo of Babita Shrestha and Sunmala in Bagbazar office
(4) Photo of Basu in the office
(5) Photo of Umesh in the office
(6) Photo of Basu and his wife dancing during Shivaratri Festival
(7) Photo of Basu's big bungalow on top of a hill
(8) Photo of myself in Nepal Jamal Kantipath office.
Pheri Vetaula Next Week! (See You Again Next Week!)