I landed in Kathmandu without enough foreign currency for the 3 month visa. The staff took my passport while I went down to use an ATM, walking by half the security layers without being stopped.

The ATM withdrawal cost me 400 rupees, about USD $5. They do not accept Nepali Rupees, however, so I had to lose more money getting USD. Not accepting your own currency for a tourist visa may be a sure sign of a failed state. Cambodia does the same thing.

The first time the metal detector did not ring, despite having my iphone in my pocket. The second time it beeped. Was it the passport that set it off? Since there was no security guard and the folks at the x-ray machine didn't seem to care, I just walked off. The 2nd layer of security I had walked by just waved me on. Perhaps they were only interested in locals smuggling items back.

Friends were waiting for me outside. The parking lot attendants exact their toll too, also on the honour system. "How long were you here?" 30 minutes. "20 rupees!" We pay and leave for the chaos that is Kathmandu traffic.