Monday, November 23, 2009

Crouching Tiger

The orphanage is located 1km from a little town called Banbassa. This little place is only 1 of 3 India/Nepal border crossings so there is a lot of freight transport to’ing and fro’ing across the river which separates the two countries. What’s funny about the crossing is that it’s only big enough for cars, so freight has to be unloaded from Nepali trucks and carried by smaller vehicles or by hand for 500 metres over the bridge and then loaded into Indian trucks. Despite the heavy traffic Banbassa itself only has a population of about 7,000. It’s not often it gets thrust in the limelight so it was big news when it rated a mention in the India Times.

The story is not just some dry commentary on export/import routes either, it’s about tigers! A “famous” tiger poacher from a “famous” tiger poaching family was arrested for attempting to do what he does best – poach tigers….right here where we are! Yeah I know most of you are now rolling your eyes and saying “big deal, so what if another tiger poacher got arrested in your town, what about our hot weather here in Adelaide”. Now I think it’s great that Adelaide is on the map for a couple of hot days but I think it’s a little bit cooler (no pun intended) that we have a guy who I imagine looks a little bit like the Indian version of Mick Dundee snooping around these here parts looking for the king of the jungle…

"Jungle” you say, aren’t some of your blogs about going into the jungle? “Yes” I would say enthusiastically “we go there quite regularly – it’s fun, there’s leeches, mud and that’s where we get our lemons from”. “Didn’t Miriam go there with a group of girl’s a while back?” you say? “yes indeed they did, they made lots of noise and cooked a great meal together”. “Isn’t that a bit scary” you might say, “to be into the same jungle as a tiger poacher?” I would reply “not really, the tiger poacher would be unlikely to harm us at all” to which you would reply “You’re missing the point – where the tiger poachers are, the tigers would be also” “Oh” I would say “That would make sense I guess – I hadn’t thought about it that way, I guess the jungle does seem a bit more unsafe now – especially since the tigers only natural enemy, the tiger poacher, has been arrested”. “So I guess then” you will say “that you won’t be going in there again knowing that there’s all those tigers prowling around”. “Of course I’ll go again” I will reply “we’re almost out of lemons….”

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