Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Ohio is on the up
Today marked my six monthly pilgrimage to the Indian embassy in Kathmandu to renew my visa. It takes nerves of steel to join the smoking hobos at 7.30 in the morning to queue for two hours in the cold before the office even opens. A survival ploy is to take a book and I thought Andrew Marr's (outstanding) History of Modern Britain would be as good a shield as any. No such luck. I found myself fourth in the queue behind an American girl who was in the company of a couple of geeky German kids. The girl's incessant chatter - interspersed every fifth or sixth word with "like" (one of my pet hates) - ensured that I was prevented from making any significant inroads into the social history of Britain in the 1960s. At one point she was asked where she came from and she confided that originally she was from "boring" Ohio. I reckon that Ohio must be less worthy of this slur now that she is over here.
OK, OK, I'm feeling a bit grumpy today and that's all down to my latest strategy to improve my 10km running performance. That involves the fat burning diet and at the end of day two of cabbage and onion soup and nothing bar water to drink the novelty has already worn off. Only five days left to burn, and this morning I'd lost 200g through day one's efforts.
Last week I reported on how the rescue team had gone to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to free three boys from domestic slavery. The team took along the boys' two sisters (former circus girls) to try and identify them in the bustling Moslem district of town. This was potentially quite dangerous but the girls were provided with a method of concealing their identity. See the picture on the right.