Archive for January 2011

Rail, Road, Air and Sea - RR001

Series: Road, Rail, Air and Sea
Title: "Nothing Concerning"
Size: ACEO/ATC - 2-1/2" x 3-1/2"

Notes: Made with hand written letter, postage stamp

The Long Road Home

The trek up to Nahima one was one of the more strenuous hikes I've attempted. It was a lot of very steep inclines and my back was sprained at the time. Whenever we would ask Nepalis how many hours it would take to reach our destination for the night, we would have to double the number in our heads, because our speed was so much slower. We got used to being passed by ancient Nepali men with walking sticks.

It turns out that for the past two years now there has been a bus that runs to Diktel, so we resolved to take the bus back rather than subject our knees to three days of downhill (there is also a commercial airstrip, but it lies a day's hike away and we would have needed to book tickets two weeks in advance). The bus ride back to Kathmandu, although it was only 27 hours in total, was nearly as physically demanding as the hike, and much less pleasant.

The trails through the hills are so bumpy that for the six-hour first leg of the trip we had to hold tight to the seat in front of us for the entire time to avoid flying about the cabin. As tall as we were, we frequently slammed our heads hard on the roof of the bus and then absorbed the landing impact into our tailbones. The night bus we took ran on unscheduled times, stopped for many hours during the night for everybody to sleep, and had to stop a few times so that people could get out and clear/pack rubble in the unformed roads so that the bus could pass.

But our bus changes were in very interesting settlements: Jayaram and Gurmi. They both lay on the river, and the bus stopped on the side opposite. My impression of Jayaram was that it had the feel of an Old West frontier town.

A raft built of drum barrels

In all of Nepal the mark of Prem Bad is omnipresent. 

Our second stop was the town of Gurmi. The bus stopped in front of the river, and a ferry began making its way across. The ferry was attached to a cable that was strung across the valley, and a man turned a hand crank to move across the river. Workers unloaded several dozen 50-kg bags of cement and some light bulbs and then we embarked along with another bus. The town was way up on the hillside above.

View of the ferry from up above.

The ferry from the opposite shore as we await its arrival.

Here we are on the ferry. Since Cabu we have definitely developed some scruffiness.

Some courageous inner tube rafters. 

From the top of the hillside. This is one of the nicer views I've had while peeing.

Trash He'Art' - 0220

Title: "Soap Angel"
Size: ACEO/ATC, 3-1/2" x 2-1/2"

Notes: Made from used Christmas card, scrap of paper, oil pastels

More Notes: I had used the front of the Christmas card for something else, and was going to throw away the inside when I found this delightful fragmented sentence. It was so random and whimsical that I decided it needed to be saved - and made into it's own art card.

Nahima Agricultural Resource Center

This is Diktel, the district capital of Khotang, which straddles the high ridge between three hill peaks. In contrast to the lowlands from which we came, it was quite cold. During the duration of my stay the clouds never lifted, which frustrated my goal of glimpsing Mount Everest for the first time. We came to Diktel almost every day, to the bazaar or the Internet café, to climb the hill peak to the temple, or to meet the local leader of the Nepali Congress or the Communist party.

This is Nahima, a thirty minute walk from Diktel. The Nahima Agricultural Resource Center is spread out along the several terraces of this hillside. We stayed in the building located at the upper right. The other terraces are covered in crops and pools for the crops. Above to the right there is a community forest.

This is the entrance. Around forty people live here communally, including over a dozen secondary school students from many villages around the area who attend the boarding school in Diktel. They all share in the labor of cooking and cleaning and planting. There are also many workshops and classes on sewing, sowing, grafting, etc. etc.

We stayed here. The walls are made of bamboo slats and so it was fairly cold and the voices of the children in adjacent were clearly audible throughout the night, but I was very comfortable here.

There were several pigs, water buffalo, chickens, and a cow. We drank rich buffalo milk and ate dried buffalo meat, and we were awakened in the morning (in my case temporarily) by the sound of the roosters.

This shower is made from the same material as the urinals. Waste water from each is drained into pools that are used for fertilizer and irrigation.

These lamps provided directed light for reading a playing poker with chocolates purchased in town. They connect to a solar charger. They were more useful than the light bulbs connected to the power lines from Kathmandu (load shedding has surpassed twelve hours so at this point you have a worse than 50/50 chance every time you try a light switch). There is also a large industrial-looking solar dryer for drying out plants.

Here Evan is doing a cauliflower impression.

Evan's job is to provide tutoring to the students who live at the center. In addition to English teaching, he teaches music. At the center there was a melodica, a harmonium, Nepali madal drums, and a guitar to complement Evan's ukelele and Indian flutes. We jammed a few times, and at one point played for an entire sewing class. Harmoniums are a ton of fun.

It was a very comfortable place to stay. We spent a lot of time reading and looking out over the terraces below. The resource center is one of a series of ventures started by a rich Nepali who has lived in Japan and South Africa and studied in Britain and the United States. It was he who suggested that Evan come teach. There are similar communal centers in other places in Khotang, an orchard and a beekeeping station; he built the airstrip we saw on our way in and while we were there he hiked ten hours down to the river one day to visit a site where he foresaw trout fishing and woodworking. I got an impression of boundless innovation, because there were so many projects going on all the time that I had no way of keeping track of them all. 


For those of you who haven't had a chance to check it out: The graffiti documentary, Bomb-it...seen it, right? the sequel is being published online @ piece by piece for the upcoming Bomb-It 2 full length graffiti documentary. Jon Reiss is an awesome person and an incredible director! You can see the INSPIRE ONE debut for Bomb-It 2 here!
Watch it on the INSPIRE Collective site here:
You can watch the entire Bomb It 2 documentary online @ Babelgum here:
INSPIRE ONE blog here:

The Khotang Trek

My old friend from Pitzer, Evan, teaches English at Nahima in the district of Khotang. Nahima is right outside the district capital Diktel, but even today it is not very easy to get to. Evan had been away on vacation and my fellow ETA Kent and I caught up with him as he returned to Kathmandu. Together the three of us took a night bus from Kathmandu to Gaaighat and then another bus to the town of Cabu. From there we began walking along the valleys, following the river.

Oh so rarely in Nepal do I get to be the shortest one in the group.

An example of a typical settlement along the path, which occasionally offer goods or lodging.

After five hours we stopped and slept the first night in Rasuwa, alongside the riverbank. That morning we arose at five and walked for twelve hours straight, where the path followed the river and finally turned up a steep hill. From then on we walked uphill, staying the second night at a tiny settlement on the summit of a hill.

We were coming from the Terai, and the weather was still pretty hot. The terraced rice paddies along the hills were brown, but Evan told us that a few months ago this scene would have been bright green.

This was the beginning of a four-hour trek straight up this hill to the tiny settlement at the summit.

Occasionally we had to fend off attacks from terrible beasts.

In contrast to Kathmandu or the major trekking routes, we saw no other foreigners the entire time we were there. The people at the settlements were used to travelers walking up to the district capitol, but we were often greeted with shouts of bideshi! ('foreigner') or kwira! ('white person'). Evan, who had spent several months in the district and was accustomed to being goggled at, would whip out his ukelele and begin singing traditional Nepali folk songs. Children would gather around curiously and be goaded into dancing, and the men would shake our hands and offer us whiskey or local rice wine.

The new airstrip.
From the settlement on top of the hill, we continued moving upwards until we came to an airstrip that had very recently been built outside of the city. We finally came to a main road and followed it to Nahima, right outside the valley that held the district capital of Diktel.

2 Popular Tax Breaks to pay for College and other Education Planning Ideas

The cost of college can be challenging for most parents and young adults getting ready to start.  Even if one plans ahead chances are you will not save enough to cover all of the expense.  One can not discount the value of a college education.  A recent article in Time magazine estimated that nearly 40 % of the
 growth in jobs in this country will be in positions that require a bachelors degree or higher.

There are a number of tax breaks that can help offset the cost of college.  One generous tax break is the American Opportunity credit  (replaced the Hope Scholarship credit).  For 2010 the American Opportunity credit equals 100% of the first $2000 of eligible post-secondary education expense plus 25% of the next $2,000, for a maximum credit of $2,500.  This credit can only be claimed for 4 years which is an improvement over the Hope credit that was only good for the first 2 years of college.  The American Opportunity credit is also subject to income and other limitations but the income limits have been increased over the Hope credit  making it available to more individuals and married joint filers.

Another tax break not quite as generous is the Lifetime Learning credit.  The Lifetime Learning credit rules are unchanged for 2010 from previous years.  As before, the credit equals 20% of up to $10,000 of eligible education expenses for a maximum credit per year of $2,000.   The Lifetime Learning credit may be harder to max-out than the American Opportunity credit but provides more flexibility with respect to the amount of years of eligibility.  As the name implies this credit can be used for one's lifetime as long as the payments are for eligible college expenses and your income doesn't exceed the phase-out ranges.

You cannot claim both the American Opportunity credit and the Lifetime Learning credit for expenses paid for the same student for the same year.  However, you can potentially claim the American Opportunity credit for one or more students in the family while also claiming the Lifetime Learning credit for expenses paid for one or more different students in the family.

The American Opportunity credit and the Lifetime Learning credit are just two of the many tax tools available to help mitigate the enormous cost to educate yourself or a dependent.  Funding college expense should be a long term plan of not only saving but also thinking about how to take advantage of every tax break available.  It involves identifying the eligible tax credits, deductions and exclusions available and properly coordinating them with the savings or financial aid one may have available to fund college expense.  An example of this is the coordination of Section 529 college funding with the American Opportunity credit to avoid triggering taxable income.  See IRS Publication 970 section on American Opportunity credit coordination with a qualified tuition program for more information.  A little planning can avoid some issues.

There's no substitute for getting started early on saving for college(unless of course you are rich!).  Along the way it is a good idea to incorporate some tax planning along with your financial plan to accomplish this goal.    Your child can also be a big help by keeping their grades up to qualify for financial aid!  I wish you good planning and luck.  Feel free to leave comments or contact me should you want additional information regarding this subject.

Andrew Jordan, CPA

Language and Power III: Tea Shops and Sanskrit

[Previously here and here]

Nepali instructors generally spend the first few days of Nepali class teaching 'Tea Shop language.' This is a register of Nepali in which verbs are not conjugated to agree with nouns and nouns are not marked for number or gender:

ma jaane          timi jaane           haami jaane       
'I go'                 'you go'              'we go'

Ramko      didi      chha.
Ram's       sister     is
'Ram has a sister.'

Ramko      dui      jaana      didi      chha.
Ram's       two     count      sister      is
'Ram has two sisters.'

Later on an instructor will teach the formal conjugations and agreement for number:

ma jaanchhu    timi jaanchhau    haami jaanchháu       
'I go'                     'you go'                     'we go'

Ramko      didi      chha.
Ram's       sister     is
'Ram has a sister.'

Ramko      dui      jaana      didiharu      chhan.
Ram's       two     count      sisters             are
'Ram has two sisters.'

Which of these two registers Nepalis use depends on the social situation, and it is very difficult for a foreign speaker to determine which to use at any given time. The second register is more formal, and is also considered more 'correct' and 'pure.' My current approach is to always use the formal register when talking to strangers. Because of this approach I have been told more than once that I speak Nepali better than most Nepalis. While this is pretty easily proven false by the fact that I usually have to make them repeat the statement before I understand it, many Nepalis (who by and large speak Nepali as a second language) speak only in Tea Shop language, and it seems to carry the same sort of stigma that many informal dialects in the United States carry.

But even this higher register is considered technically 'incorrect.' To understand a newspaper or a politician's speech you must additionally learn how to mark verbs and adjectives for gender and that the genitive marker distinguishes between plural and singular:

Ramko      didi      chhin.
Ram's       sister     is (feminine)
'Ram has a sister.'

Ramkaa               dui      jaana      didiharu      chhan.
Ram's (plural)      two     count      sisters           are (feminine plural)
'Ram has two sisters.'

So there is a third, even higher register of grammatical formality. This is associated with upper class, native Nepali speakers, but I don't know if I've ever heard anybody use it when speaking with me (and this is completely separate from the royal language of patronage I mentioned here). In fact, when I first started reading newspapers I would assume they were written in Hindi because it was the first time I encountered this, and it looks very different. Oftentimes travel guide books will use this register for their 'Helpful Nepali Phrases' section, but I think your average Nepali has difficulty understanding this register.

Even besides the grammar, the highest register is 'Sanskritized,' meaning that there is a lot of Sanskrit vocabulary. Just like many of our ten-dollar words in English come from Latin or Greek and provide shades of meaning that differ from their rough Germanic equivalents ('excavate' vs. 'dig'), the more prestigious Nepali words are more directly derived from Sanskrit. Only the very educated know these words. I encountered that back in 2008 when few people in my village understood what chatrabritti 'scholarship' meant, and I encountered it again during the Mahayagya ceremony I mentioned here, in which the priest translated Sanskrit to Nepali but in a register that was too high for most of the villagers to understand. 

In terms of prestigious loanwords, the Sanskrit words are being pushed out today by their English equivalents ('bhidyaalaya' 'school' is now oftentimes just 'iskul'), which provides another layer of obscurity for the Nepali speaker. Technical terms in medicine will almost always have a Sanskrit term already associated with them, but doctors will often use the newer, more modern-seeming English loanword. 

All of this means that within the Nepali language itself it is easy to determine who belongs within the power structure of the educated elites by the variety of language that they use. This is true for English speakers too, of course, but I would hazard that it is more significant in Nepal. For example, this is from a September 4 policy paper by Martin Chautari, "Attendance and Participation in the Constituent Assembly," in which party members were questioned as to their lack of participation (Janajatis represent the indigenous groups):

"For Janajatis, the problem of not being able to speak 'pure' Nepali and not being understood in one's own language was stressed."

UPDATE: In the United States, the Mississippi Senate just passed an immigration status bill similar to the one in Arizona. While "race, color, and national origin" cannot be used as a reasonable suspicion for the police to check an individual's immigration statues, English language speaking ability can. Here is an example of the standard variety in the United States claiming a similar privilege, wouldn't you say? From "Mississippi Senate passes immigration status bill" on the Clarion-Ledger.

New Pinch

Whenever I buy new clothes and put them on for the first time, Nepalis will come up to me and say (in English) "New Pinch!" and pinch me.

Apparently this is the tradition in Nepal and India. I have no idea why people feel the need to do this. The practice is popular enough that there is even a clothing store called "New Pinch." My only theory about the origins of this practice is that St. Patrick's Day is not really celebrated in Nepal and there was a maw in the deep socio-psychological milieu that could apparently only be filled by pinching strangers.

So I looked to the Internet to provide further illumination, as is my wont. This is from a Q&A website like Yahoo Questions (here): 

"Q: What is idea behind doing NEW PINCH when someone wears new dress ?

Best Answer: Usually the person's mentality changes for a moment and will be in a flying mood

NEW PINCH is to indicate him/her that come-out of dream (that you are predominant) thereby bringing him/her to real world, at the same time an appreciation and admiration about the selection and how it suits the person well, will increase cardinal relationship"

Mystery solved! Thanks, the Internet!

He'Art' for Terry

Title: Happy Trails
Size: ACEO/ATC - 2-1/2" x 3-1/2"

Notes: Made with Fabric (it really is shiny gold, but you can't tell from my scan), lace, ribbon, fabric paint

More Notes: I have never set out to make an art card specifically inspired by someone. Until now. This ACEO was made with a very special and wonderful friend in mind - Terry over at Lady Liberty Patriot. Terry - thank you so much for your friendship, for your encouragement when I needed it so much, for your generosity and for your huge heart. I really do love you - even though you are going through hard times yourself - you still take the time to be an inspiration to me and to so many others!

This ACEO will be winging it's way to you via snail mail within a few days. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for you.

To see hearts from around the world, visit Random Hearts - and share YOUR heart on Guest Heart Thursday!


^, originally uploaded by dede.confidential.

Radio Nepal

The husband of one of the teachers at my school is an advertiser for Radio Nepal, the government-run radio station, and he very kindly offered to give me a tour. I was psyched, because Radio Nepal was Nepal's first radio station, started under King Tribhuvan after the downfall of the Rana Regime in 1951. It has four (I think) main stations and 17 auxiliary stations and broadcasts throughout the entirety of Nepal in FM, shortwave, and mediumwave in 20 languages. It has over twice the total listenership of the next most popular radio station.

We took a couple buses from his village to Singha Durbar in the heart Kathmandu. After three police checkpoints we entered into the government complex, a giant area that contains many of the ministries of the country. Radio Nepal is also housed there, in blocky, crumbling white Rana regime-built buildings with gargoyle-like wooden carved dragons peering down from the entrances (dragons aside the buildings look sort of Soviet, I remarked, but I think that was the wrong thing to say). In any case they had class.

I met some editors and news readers and the chief of the news staff. I observed a live reading of the 11:00 news, the taping of a women's issues program, and a live call-in talk show. With equipment donated by the United States and Japan, the aesthetic reminded me of the classic 1950s image of an American radio station, with the large-handed clocks and the "On-Air" sign and the giant microphone suspended from the ceiling (albeit smeared with tikka).

I visited the music studio, said to be until recently the largest in South Asia. I chatted a little with a traditional folk singer/musician, and I couldn't help but ask permission to play the upright piano and vibraphone in their studio. A lot of the big name Nepali musicians over the years have worked almost exclusively for Radio Nepal.

But the most interesting thing to me was looking at the broadcast schedules for news bulletins in different languages. After the 1990 revolution when there was a return to parliamentary monarchy, Radio Nepal first began to broadcast in minority languages and focus on people's rights in a multiethnic society. I think the rise of community-based radio in Nepal began at the same time.

Today the main station in Kathmandu broadcasts in 10 languages and the other stations broadcast in 8 additional languages:

Tharu East
Tharu West

I have heard criticisms of Radio Nepal; people complain that it is just a mouthpiece for the party that is currently in power. The message of Radio Nepal changes with each government upheaval. Some of the staff acknowledged these criticisms and admitted that under the current system, where Radio Nepal is under the auspices of the Ministry of Information, the ruling party of the moment has the power to 'use or misuse' Radio Nepal at their will. In the future Radio Nepal may be under direct parliamentary control, which will hopefully lessen the problem of bias.

But the emphasis on women's issues and on the rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities is an obvious presence in Radio Nepal programming, so it's an interesting institution.

Radio Nepal is freely available online at Check it out!

REUSE & RESIST! Open Call For ART - Until March 21, 2011

We're happy to report a strong response since the open call for art for REUSE AND RESIST, INSPIRE Collective's 4th annual ReUse Project here in the middle east and to ensure that everyone gets a chance to participate, we've extended our open call for entry submissions until March 21, 2011!! What's this all about?! Find out more @
Or write to us at:

Devanangreji IV: Sign Phonics!

(Previous entries herehere and here)

जयसवाल फलफुल एण्ड जुस फ्रुट सेन्टर
ja-ya-sa-waa-l pha-l-phul-l e-nd ju-s phru-t se-nta-r
Jayasawal Phalphul and Juice Fruit Center

This shop in Jayasawal is called the "Jayasawal Phalphul and Juice Fruit Center." Like the advertisement above it, the sign mixes vocabulary in English and Nepali. "Phalphul" is Nepali for fruit, so the sign actually says "Jayasawal Fruit and Juice Fruit Center." The fact that the word "fruit" appears as a loanword only in the context of the other English loanword "juice" seems to indicate that while selling fruit is a traditional Nepali activity, selling fruit juice is a more modern, commercial activity (as the Mickey Mouse advertisement above, which is also for fruit juice, emphasizes).

First of all, I like the phrase "Shirting, Suiting, & Tailoring Center" on the Machhindra Tailors sign. Is that also a British usage, or is it Nepali-English?

Secondly, here you can see a very common pattern for storefront signs in Kathmandu Valley: Nepali name + English words, written in Devanagari characters and English characters: "मच्छिन्द्र टेलर्स Machhindra Tailors" and "Machhindra Stationary and Books मच्छिन्द्र स्टेशनरी एण्ड बुक्स." The word 'tailors' is spelled with the characters for 'te-lars' instead of the more phonetically accurate 'te-larz' (or rather 'te-larj'). This is to match English spelling I guess. In other places in Patan I've seen the opposite  approach written in English letters: "Ritaz Beauty Parlor."

Also, underneath the Machhindra Stationary and Books sign is written, only in Devanagari, "रिचार्ज कार्ड पाइन्छ" or 'ri-cha-rj ka-rd paa-i-nchha' - "Recharge Card is-available."

What is interesting here is that I think most Nepalis use a non-rhotic variety of English for loanwords, meaning that they copy the British in taking out the r in words like 'recharge' and 'card.' But the spelling is still reflected in the Devanagari. I'm told the word 'car' is also spelled कार (kaa-r) even though it is pronounced 'cah.'

In other words, we have managed to get the illogical spelling of our own language exported into a different language with a different script. Fun!

ललितपुर उडकार्भिङ  उद्योग
la-li-t-pu-r u-d-kaa-rbhi-ng u-dyo-g
"Lalitpur Udkarbhing Udyog"

English has more consonant clusters than Nepali, so English-language Devanagari is sometimes identifiable as English even before you read it. You see lots of half-characters that represent consonant clusters. This sign confused me for a few minutes: "Lalitpur" is the name of the district, and "Udyog" is the Nepali word for "industry," but the middle word looks like English. Usually when a word ends with the characters for "-ing" you know that that word has to be English. 

I would have figured out what "Udkharbhing" means a lot quicker if I had just looked down ten feet and seen what was actually going on in the shop itself. It is an English word, but it definitely reflects Nepali-accented pronunciation rather than English spelling conventions. 

Continuous Reading Material

Well, there were two weeks of testing, two days of teaching (I taught some carols and did a lesson where students had to invent their own holidays), and now there is a month-long winter break. My plan is to stay in the Valley for a week and catch up with all the people I've been meaning to catch up with, and then go on a trek to Khotang to visit my friend who is teaching there. So updates may be sporadic for a bit.

In the meantime I thought I would mention some of the blogs that provide me with continuous reading material during the days that I am in Kathmandu and have easy access to the Internet. These two are written by friends of mine, fellow Fulbrighters in Nepal. The first is a fashion designer who writes a weekly fashion column for the Himalayan Times in addition to her research. The other is a photographer who works with Tibetan refugee communities. Check out his photographs to get a view of life in Nepal that goes way beyond what I can describe with words:

These two are about language and linguistics and I check them sort of obsessively whenever I'm in Kathmandu. The Language Log is really famous as far as linguistic blogs go, and I've already mentioned a couple of their posts here. I went to a talk given by one of the main contributers of the Language Log, the linguist Geoff Pullum, back in California. He referred to his enemies as 'prescriptivist loonies.' The design of Omniglot is more or less the inspiration for how I write this blog; I wanted to pick out little things that interest me about life here rather than write straight-up diary entries.

Language Log

Omniglot Blog

Article on

I recently did an interview along with some other christian graffiti artists from all over the world and the article "Graffiti: Evangelistic or Eyesore?" was published on HolyCultureDotNet so check it out if you want to.

Federal Student Aid, FAFSA and New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!   I spent part of the New Year's weekend watching football (what a tough weekend for the Big Ten teams) and working on my 2010 taxes.  My oldest son will be starting college in the fall so I'm working on my 2010 tax return information to apply for Federal Student Aid.  The Free Application for
 Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application needs to be submitted shortly after January 1 for students starting or returning to college in the fall.  As with most government programs funds are finite so it's best to apply
 early before the money runs out.  See  if you are interested in additional information on Federal Student Aid.  The website has a forecasting tool that is useful to determine how much financial aid one will qualify for if you'd like to get an early estimate for planning purposes.

I received some good books for Christmas.  I want to acquire a working knowledge of Microsoft Access so the MS Office System textbook I received will be useful in achieving this goal in the New Year.  I'm also reading a book called, "How Successful People Think" by John C. Maxwell.  I'm just getting started on it.  It's a pretty short read and from skimming through it it looks like it could have some worthwhile ideas.  From what I gather so far is that the author recommends that one takes the time to do a lot of thinking and be open minded to appreciate other ways of thinking.  Sounds reasonable to me.  Maybe food for thought for a future blog.

The best financial self help books I've read in the past that influenced my way of thinking are, "The Millionaire Mind and Next Door" series by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.  They were written back in 1995-96 but their message, that wealth is created over time by living below your means, is even more popular today.  What I like about these books is that the wealth creation techniques were compiled from surveys taken from millionaire business owners, professionals and working class people on how they had achieved financial independence.  Presenting ideas from actual surveyed data compiled for the book added credence to their thesis, something missing from most self help books.   I recommend either of these "Millionaire" books.  It's never too late to get started on building your financial independence!

According to the authors of the, "The Millionaire Next Door"  another correlation of wealth accumulation is employing  a CPA, not just to do your taxes but also to provide various kinds of financial advise.  Let me know if I can help you reach your financial goals in 2011. 

Andrew Jordan, CPA

Devanangreji III

(Previous entries here and here)

This is my favorite storefront sign in Satdobato:

श्रेश्ठ ईलेक्ट्रोनिक्स एण्ड ईलेक्ट्रिकल्स
shre-stha i-le-ktro-ni-ks e-nd i-le-ktri-ka-ls
"Shrestha Electronics and Electricals"

अरिना कस्मेटिक एण्ड गिफ्ट शप
A-ri-na ka-sme-ti-k e-nd gi-pht sha-p
"Arina Cosmetic and Gift Shop"

रमेश वाच सेन्टर
ra-me-sh waa-ch se-nta-r
"Ramesh Watch Center"

ए एस ग्लास सेन्टर
e es glaa-s se-nta-r
"A. S. Glass Center"

"Center" is a popular English word on Nepali storefronts. "Glass Center," "Shoe Center," "Gift Center," "Food Center" etc. "Shrestha," "Arina," "Ramesh," and "A.S." are the first or last names of the store owners.

अनिल कोल्ड स्टोर
a-ni-l ko-ld sto-r
"Anil Cold Store"
Local shops that serve refrigerated soft drinks are often called 'cold stores,' which I never found particularly appealing because it looks like 'cold sores.' 

And now for my favorite....

This was taken in Medina, Texas by my parents as they were driving back to Austin from their Christmas holiday in Bandera.