PAYING TAXES IN NEPAL?
I have been in Nepal for exactly one year. Having had a tourist visa, one month extension and half a year business visa, I had to leave. It has been a touch year. As beautiful Nepal is I have other feelings too. It seemed all Nepali that were aiming for my friendship also were looking for my money. Two partnerships went down due to appointments not kept from their side. I felt lonely there. Intellectually I did not find my equal and emotionally I was missing my female friends I was used to in Europe. The obvious desire for my things from the hostess in the homestay I lived did not improve my situation. I am happy to leave.
I have to go to India to sell my Royal Enfield. I have been driving it from Goa to Kathmandu and it is a big investment. The only place where I can get a good pice for it is in the area’s where there are a lot of westerners that are looking for an adventure on a bike like mine. I decided to go to Rishikesh. Goa seized is almost finished by the time I arrive there and I expect not to find a lot of buyers. So North I go.
I did not pay my taxes for the bike for last eight months. Motorbikes with Indian plates have to pay taxes of around NPRs 100 a day and the bike can only stay 29 days. After this one has to leave Nepal and reenter. I did so 4 times. From Bhaktapur to Birganj – Roxaul border is 10 hours along the old highway and 9 hours along the new one. The shortcut has been blocked due to landslides and going around again took me too long. It is a hard road with many miles off-road bad shit roads. So after taking this trip for 4 times I decided to skip this. The police rarely stops me and if they do hardly ever asks for my papers. If they do I tell them they are in my hotelroom and they will wave me off.
So leaving Nepal was a bit tricky. Logically I could have taken the western border at Bhimdatta. The roads in the terrain region in Nepal are great I was told. But I didn’t know the border situation and Matthew from the Pokhara Royal Enfield shop warned me of the police trying to get baksheesh from foreigners on bikes without the proper papers. So I went to Roxaul. I went through the border and parked my bike in front of the Indian customs. I asked the men at service there to watch my bike while I walked back to the Nepali customs. I hopped on a rickshaw that dropped me off at the Nepal customs and got my stamps. No problems here. I took the same rickshaw back and got my stamps at the Indian border. Piece of cake and just as planned.
I left Nepal at Holy, a Nepali – Indian festival. What I didn’t realise was that the banks and ATM’s were closed at Holy. India has Holy the day after Nepal and I stayed overnight in a Nepal hotel because of the bad hotels in Roxaul. So no banks open in Nepal and banks closed in India. And they stayed close for another two days! No cash, no hotel, no food. I got myself a place in the shadow alongside the road. Locals came to talk to me and were thinking about solutions for me when the custom officials came walking by with the balloons I had made for them. They were surprised to see me here and told me I should have come to them for help. They took me to a hotel and told the owner to open it and to give me the rooms without paying a deposit because of the situation. This gave me the break I needed. I even got a meal from the owner because it was Holy!
It wasn’t the best solution I could think of. The hotel was dirty and costly. I wanted to leave! After a nap I decided to go to the Indian customs to ask if I could go to Nepal to see if the ATM’s were open again so I could get some money. I didn’t have a reentry visa so I pleaded with them to give me one hour to go up and down. Because of the situation they granted me one hour and made me promise to report back when done. Happy to reenter Nepal illegally I went for the Nepali customs. The cops called the customs official who arrived on bike. He suggested to take me on his bike to look for an ATM. Things couldn’t get better. The first ATM was closed as was the second ATM, but 3 guards were in front of the bank. The custom official asked them to open the ATM for me explaining my situation and after some investigative looks the agreed to help me. They opened the ATM and I was able to take NPR 12.000. On our way back to the Nepali – Indian border the custom officer took me to a shop where I could change the Nepali Rupees into Indian Rupees. I gave the man some baksheesh and walked back to the Indian customs. All weel and done and I was ready to leave next day to Lucknow.
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