Nepal, twenty bucks and a dream
Having read over my compatriot’s maudlin (albeit, lovely) debut in our very own travelblog, I find it necessary that someone come and lend some basic background information for our loyal readers out there…
And so…on with the exposition…
Once upon a time, in a far away kingdom known as Clinton, NY, two young girls stumbled upon each other in the hazy period of time commonly referred to as “college.” They bonded over a mutual distrust of Republicans, an obsession with Utica Club and a general feeling of superiority over most everyone that crossed their path.
5 years later, both were gradually losing their sanity in their overworked, underpaid posts as they tried to change the world. One day a phone call was made and a trip proposed: “one year off, around the world, wherever we want to go.”
We had clearly taken leave of our senses. Jobs were quit, belongings were packed and in T-3 days, we will be on our way to Japan to begin “Pay the Bribe: the Year We Became Canadian.”
Why pay the bribe, you ask? When we began researching this trip, I expressed an interest in seeing Nepal. When this information reached certain individuals who wish to remain nameless an email was quickly sent off with a State Department warning about rebel forces in Nepal. As we began researching the issue, we came across one instance of tourist running into a dangerous situation.
It was described as follows: “To date, the Maoist contend that their issue is solely with their government and not with tourists or any alien parties entering the country. They continue to fight for a complete revamp of the multiparty democratic system, as well as abolition of the caste system and the equitable distribution of resources in Nepal.
“The only known incident in which tourists were harmed occurred when a small group of Polish backpackers encountered the Maoist rebels while hiking through the mountains. When the backpackers tried to cross their camp, the Maoist demanded what amounted to a $20 bribe. The Poles refused to pay and were detained; two days later, they were released without paying the money.”
And so, we venture off to the great unknown. Everything is uncertain. Which countries will we visit? Where will we stay at night? What will find to eat? Will our money keep? How many languages will we learn to say “where is the bathroom for the love of god?”
But one thing is for certain. One single thing we agree on through and through: we meet Maoist rebels in the mountains…
We’re paying the bribe.
(The staging area, featured below...)