Sunday, March 11, 2007

Meet Craig Baker

He's young. He's kiwi. He's a tin arse.

He was my travel companion for the last week. Introducing me to "roof of the bus travel", Bandipur and Pokhara by motorbike. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.

But by far the most impressive thing that mero bhai (my younger brother) did was get a Maoist propaganda car to relinquish one of their flags to him. If you don't know the situation here in Nepal, the Maoists are the "opposition" but you can find out more details if you google them, 'cos I can't be bothered going into it. So the day before a rally cars go up and down the streets advertising the "where and when". They are all decked out with flags and posters and loud speakers. We were eating lunch and young Craig wondered aloud if they'd give him a flag. I told him to go ask them, so he did. He stopped a car and asked them for their flag. Would you believe it, they handed it over! Tin Arse! With instructions to come to the rally the following day and to hand out flyers. We were planning to go anyway, but the flag added that extra incentive. Way to go kiwi boy.

The next day we headed off to the rally. Craig waving his flag proudly and receiving smiles and laughs and pointing fingers along the journey. We got to the stadium and I began to feel like a travelling interpretor. Craig not speaking a helluva lot of Nepali and the gathered masses not speaking a helluva lot of English. The "official" number of attendees was 500,000 or there abouts. We didn't stay to hear the leader speak, being bored well before he was due to arrive, but we had fun getting there and being there.

Politics in Nepal. Oh the fun to be had!

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