Big and White: Life as a Foreigner in Nepal

A Society, Culture and Travel podcast
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What is life like as a foreigner in your own country? This week your hosts Big and White chat with Moon about her recent time in America. Was it horrible, wonderful, or a weird mix of both? Listen to find out!
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about what it’s like to celebrate holidays as an expat. Being away from family can be difficult, but it’s also an exciting chance to make your own traditions such as eating meals on rooftops, making orange rolls from scratch (sorry Pillsbury, these are better), and forcing your friends to open Christmas stockings.
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about Dashain, the biggest Hindu holiday of them all! They talk about the fun and not-so-fun parts of the festival, from flying kites and giant swings to goats being sacrificed to a goddess who defeated evil demons. They talk about their outsider perspective of such an important (one might say auspicious!) time, and conclude that the best part of any holiday is getting to spend time with family and friends. Finally, they discuss their plans honor an important American holiday by drinking blood-themed cocktails and eating spooky cheese… because that’s what Halloween is all about?
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about going to the movies in Nepal! It’s surprisingly different than the experience in Western countries, with exciting features like early morning showtimes, enhanced security, delicious food, and weird commercials. There is only one English movie out at a time, and no subtitles to be found anywhere. But they love it! They also discuss Bohemian Rhapsody (because, obviously) and the linguistics guy Eric Singer. Plus their favorite festival, Tihar!
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! After a brief hiatus, your hosts Big and White are back with an exciting and silly new episode. Have you watched those videos where they have celebrities answer the autofill questions on Google? Well, in this episode Big and White attempt to do the same thing. Get ready for a wild ride.
Do you honk at dogs but not cows? Do you pay rent with stacks and stacks of cash? Have your shoe needs changed drastically? In this episode, your hosts Big and White discuss just a few of the things that have changed for them since moving to Nepal. And of course be sure to check out our (fake) sponsor:
Happy 2020! In this episode, in the spirit of New Years Resolutions, your hosts Big and White talk about some of the things that they had to relearn when they moved to Nepal. Moving to a new country often means relearning how to be an adult, and sometimes in surprising ways! Also, you should definitely read Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazon by Daniel L. Everett
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about what it's like moving overseas unattached. There are many freedoms and opportunities that come with being single, but there are many difficulties as well. They also try to give some advice about being healthy as a single person, drawn directly from their experiences, both successes and failures.
In this episode, your hosts Big and White reminisce about some of their experiences on planes and in international airports. They give tips for what to pack, what to wear, and how to not cry (just kidding, that’s impossible). They also talk about White’s celebrity crush and Big’s recent trip out of Asia!
We’re celebrating our 25th episode with some cocktails and a bonus ep! In this episode, your hosts Big and White answer 73ish questions about themselves, rather honestly. You’ll learn more than you every really needed to know about both of the ladies, and hopefully you’ll laugh with them, not at them, as they bare their souls. Music: Champagne Corolla by Justin Townes Earl
In this episode, Big and White host their first guest, Picnic, a schoolteacher from the US. They ask her about her impressions of Nepal, and she gushes about how nice everyone is, how much she loved adventuring out of the city, and how she isn’t actually big (just white). There is also a lot of discussion about toilets, unsurprisingly.
Afraid to take your first flight across an ocean? Never fear, in this episode, your hosts Big and White talk more about traveling from continent to continent via the magic of aeroplanes! They tell you how to stay hydrated, stay entertained, and most importantly, stay sane. You need no longer fear the unknown - Big and While give you all the deets you need to know. Links: Big Boyz Podcast
Living overseas always guarantees new experiences (and new ways to eat cheese?). In this episode, your hosts Big and White welcome guest Seagull to the pod! She talks about her time doing research in Costa Rica, her current job in a research lab studying language learning genes (with cute birds!), and her dreams of moving to Germany. This episode brought to you by your friendly neighborhood vegetable seller (not a real sponsor). For more on FOXP2 research, listen to The Scientist Speaks: Birds on the Brain.
What happens when you’re not technically an expat anymore? In this episode, your hosts Big and White discuss the experience of going “home,” whether for a short or a long period of time. It’s a challenge to be a person who lives in many countries, as your identity is always changing. Big and White’s big advice to handle the transition well? Try not to be a jerk!   Don’t forget to check out the Khas Kura podcast, hosted by two Nepalis who have moved to America. (our opposite twins!)
What's it like to travel to somewhere less, well, foreign? In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about being a tourist in counties very similar to your own, and how different it feels from traveling to a country that is much less like your home country. White recently visited England, and Big recently visited Canada, so if you want to hear about those places probably listen to this episode? Also, they talk about how writing systems affect dialect and language boundaries. Because they love linguistics.
How would you define a language? In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about language boundaries. You might think of languages as similar to countries - having a nice border or boundary between them. And once you cross that boundary, you're in a different language. With languages that are not closely related to each other, that's true. But in fact, languages are on a continuum. So when going from one language to another related language, you have to ask, where does one language end and the next begin? Or where does one dialect end and the other begin? How different do they need to be to qualify as different languages? Here are the language clips from the episode (no cheating!)
Will moving overseas change your life? In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about all the things that don’t change when you move, like your anger issues and your inability to make new friends. It’s not all sad things though - moving overseas can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life! And! It’s book club time! Here is the list of books about Nepal that Big and White recommend, as promised. Book recommendations: Massacre in the Palace Kathmandu Thamel The Living Goddess Fatalism and Development Finding God in Kathmandu The Gurkha’s Daughter While the Gods Were Sleeping These fine lines And the article about host country blaming:
Nepal never fails to defy expectations! In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about a few unexpected things about Nepal. Most people think when you move to Nepali you’ll either become a yogi on top of a mountain or live in a village with a goat. (Hint: that isn’t Big or White’s experience) Did you think that there would be amazing coffee in Nepal, that Western toilets are really common, or that the internet would be amazing? And most importantly, that Nepal is unlike any other country in Asia, including India? Listen to learn even more!
In this episode, your hosts Big and White reunite with an old friend who lived in Nepal four years ago. They talk about her experience coming back now that so much has changed, and all the things that she missed about Nepal (including amazing Indian food!) Her husband also joins the conversation and describes his traumatic experiences brushing his teeth with Perrier, sleeping on a hard bed, and trying to embrace ambiguity (not easy for a software developer). Big and White also wax poetic about two of their favorite things: Jazzmandu and Newari food!
In this episode, your hosts Big and White explain a little of the work they actually do. It’s mostly boring office work, but sometimes they travel to the village, which is great fodder for glamorous instagram posts! They share stories of crossing rivers, adorable animals, interviewing old ladies, and the struggles of being an introvert in a communal setting. This week Big’s listener mail question for you is: what unnecessary (but amazing) things should the ladies add to their packing list?
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about the hazards and joys of traffic in Nepal. It took them both some adjustment, but now they love weaving through traffic, avoiding street cows, and holding other people’s stuff in their laps on the bus. They also discuss sidewalk jail and crazy mountain roads, and give advice for how to search for anything online. Okay, not anything anything, but almost anything.
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about what it’s like to visit your home country for the first time after moving overseas. They discuss preparing to travel, crazy American food trends, how not to cope with jet lag, hanging out with people you’ve known forever, unappealing fashion trends, experiencing reverse culture shock, wide open spaces, going to the DMV, what Koreans and hip Portlanders have in common, and much more.
Adjusting to a new culture is hard! In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about the ups and down of culture shock. Spoiler alert: you can’t avoid it! The ladies talk about what culture shock is, tips for dealing with it, and how they cope (the good, the bad, and the ugly). They also talk about one of White’s favorite things in the Nepali language: rhyming words!
We have a Canadian guest! In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk with Maple about moving to a bigish city after her upbringing on a farm, the types of cultural adjustments she had to make (especially regarding morality vs culture), and the cycle of making new friends over and over for 7 years. Maple just got back from a year in Canada, so she also tells us about some reverse culture adjustment calamities (like just wanting a hug from old friends)! Big also describes her experiences over the years watching the Super Bowl overseas; full of highs and lows and morning indigestion.
In this episode, your hosts Big and White talk about their tips for being healthy when moving overseas, and just being healthy in general! They remind you to check your idealism, eat healthy (but also eat dirt), have a hobby or artistic outlet, get into green spaces, and accept who you are. They also discuss traveling salesmen, personality types, and the dream of the (pre)1890s.
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Podcast Details

Aug 4th, 2018
Latest Episode
Mar 27th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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