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Showing posts from May, 2010


I never saw Mutka sober during the entire two weeks of his group's Nepal visit. He was a member of the specially constituted Finnish media group for the promotion of Nepal in the early nineties. Nepal Finland Society had helped me organize an educational trip for about a dozen travel writers. I personally escorted the group to various parts of the country; included in the itinerary were inspection visits to a few Finnish development aid projects like aforestation, drinking water and sanitation. Pokhara and Butwal were included in the itinerary. Driving in the bus while covering a particularly treacherous part of the national "highway" Mutka opened his bleary eyes and asked me a very pertinent question, "Why do people pay all this money to get a sore ass?"

Yes, why indeed! Travel in the developing world is fraught with difficulty in many fronts but in our own region it reaches a crescendo; the state of the infrastructure or the lack thereof, confrontational pol…