Friday, April 8, 2011


This is a photo I took while in Nepal, of an alleyway I'd travel down every time I visited the tourist trap that is Thamel - where there's Western food, English books and faster internet to be had in abundance.

I'd never have thought to have taken a photo, but every time I walked this way with the Handsome Pen Pal he'd quietly snigger like a naughty school boy. Perhaps you've already had a snigger too.

See, what I didn't know, and what the people of Nepal clearly don't know, is that in online communities 'cyber' is short for 'cyber sex' - and so every time the HPP saw this sign and the many like it he found it to be hilarious and inappropriate.

Like Nepalis, I think it's perfectly acceptable to use 'cyber' as interchangeable 'internet' - it just goes to show that the same word doesn't always have to same meaning for everyone. After the HPP pointed it out I'd have a little snigger too, and thought I would share the joke with you to celebrate the end of the week.


  1. It might also have something to do with how 'internet cafe' has become more widespread in English than 'cyber cafe' (Google search gives 8.3 million pages for 'cyber cafe', but 25.5 million for 'internet cafe').

    I often used to use 'cyber' as a verb myself, but it's been such a long time since I did, so I would've have just seen the sign for 'Cyber' and thought 'internetz!'

  2. Just wanted to say that I came across your blog by way of your comment on Brian Smith's blog. Just read the whole thing, very much enjoyed it, may even have learned a thing or two.

  3. Thanks Len - Glad you found your way to this little corner of the world!