Having submitted my Nepal field report to the UN I’m back home and so jetlagged if someone suggested Carol Thatcher was the world’s most beautiful woman I couldn’t muster brains enough for a decent rebuttal. With that in mind, in place of the standard witty, informative and peerlessly researched entry I’m getting out the projector for a holiday slideshow. These should give you a taste of life in a poor-as-Mickey-Rourke-in-the-90s country. You get the lights, I’ll get the Twiglets.

Two kids wash in the polluted Bagmati river, looking as dirty getting out as when they went in. That’s life without running water.

On every third rooftop in the country, 10,000 litre water tanks collect rain and pump down to the floors below.

An advert for solar power and a vision of the future, with old village huts adorned with solar panels. This is less about environmental foresight, more a practical response to 16 hour power cuts.

The glamour of environmentalism: a water and paper-saving squat toilet.

Street children in the Bagmati river, feet away from a body about to be cremated. They are collecting coins thrown into the river by mourners honouring the dead. This is all kinds of poor right here.

That’ll do for the Nepal diaries. As for India, I visited a touristy place in the south of the country and can make the following observations: The people of India are mostly white. Their conversation is generally of the obnoxious sort, focusing on the inferiority of their accommodation. They spend their time buying tat, turning pink, getting drunk and trying to score. It’s true what they say: travel has broadened my mind.

Photo credit: The Zero