There are two things the puzzled me when I arrived. One was the time zone being 15 minutes off the hour instead of a full hour and the other was the non rectangular flag.
Most countries in the world set their time based on one hour increments based on Greenwich Mean Time. (India is 30 minutes different) but Nepal is 15 minutes off the hour which seemed rather strange. Nepal's time zone of UTC + 5:45 was adopted in 1986. This is the nearest quarter-hour from Greenwich to the local mean time of Nepal's capital Kathmandu, which is at 85°19'E or 5:41:16. 5 and 3/4 hours ahead of GMT, no doubt pleasing to the pedants who recognize this as precisely the time difference between the longitudes of Greenwich and Kathmandu but confusing for anyone who actually has to come here.
The national flag of Nepal is the only non-rectangular national flag; the flag is a simplified combination of two single pennants from different branches of the previous rulers, the Rana dynasty. The flag was adopted, with the formation of a new constitutional government, on December 16, 1962. The individual pennants had been used for the last two centuries and the double pennant since the 19th century. The blue border denotes peace and the crimson color is Nepal's national color. The two royal symbols are now declared to represent the hope that Nepal will last as long as the moon and the sun.
Traffic here is something else... The roads are badly in need of repair, they are shared by cars, buses, motorbikes, bicycles and rickshaws all who claim the right of way simultaneously. Drivers are, shall we say "aggressive", vehicles weave in and out of snarled traffic with horns blaring constantly. During rush hour two lanes of traffic become 5 with motorcycles between and on either sides of the cars & buses. The taxi drivers shut off their engines at stop lights to save fuel.
I wondered why this seeming fierceness on the roads, refusal to accept conventional style in their flag and timezone. Then I thought about what it must take to survive in the mountains with the cold and rugged terrain. (86% of Nepalese live in rural mountainous areas) Perhaps this is part of a national character of rugged independence in the face of hardship and the difficulty of life. It takes that kind of fierceness just to survive. There are moments when you walk down the street and get a sense of being in the wild west of yesteryear.
This is a place that stirs the imagination.