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  • Stories of a Himalayan Hunter

    Don Messerschmidt

    My friend, the story of my life is that story: story of hunting. . .  ~Dil Das The Himalayan hunter today is a mythical character. Half a century ago, however, when Dil Das and others like him were tracking wildlife in the Himalayan forests it was a way of

  • Boots Beyond Compare

    Don Messerschmidt

    I promised Wahab my boots. They were splendid boots, boots beyond compare … the best of boots; I had a lot of fun in them.  –Peter Fleming, at the conclusion of ‘News from Tartary’ (1936) Boots are important. While preparing to come live and work in Nepal

  • What’s On Your ‘Bucket List’?

    Don Messerschmidt

    Climb to the top of the highest point on earth and descend safely to sea level with all 21 digits intact. - Joe Patterson at www.bucketlist.org <Climb Everest Count on it, there are travelers hanging around Thamel with ‘Nepal’ on their bucket lists, and maybe even ‘Climb

  • Two Novels about Nepal

    Don Messerschmidt

    On Sherpa speak, and a ‘coals to Newcastle’ effect I recently read a YA ‘thriller’ entitled ‘The Everest Files’, by Matt Dickinson. The cover blurb on this Young Adult novel (ages 12-20) shouts: ‘A Missing Teenage Climber. A Trail of Deadly Clues. Mystery on the World’s Highest Peak’. It’s

  • Urban Walkability

    Don Messerschmidt

    Want to go for a walk in the city? Choose your day, time and place carefully, to avoid the worst of Kathmandu’s air pollution. Out in Pokhara (by comparison) there’s far less pollution, so any day, any time, and almost any street or lane there is good. The best time

  • Small World, Reconnecting with the Past

    Don Messerschmidt

    “I wonder which of the people who cross my path, their faces unknown to me, have nonetheless played a part in my life without my being the slightest bit aware of it.” ~Anne Berest (2015) I recently read a book entitled ‘Sagan, Paris 1954’ by Anne Berest, a popular

  • RUM DOODLE DUM: What's in a name?

    Don Messerschmidt

    Want a good laugh on trek? Try W.E. Bowman’s ‘The Ascent of Rum Doodle’, the popular mountaineering spoof. I usually carry it to read aloud evenings to my trekking companions. They love it. It’s a scream! And, sometimes they do some ‘Rumdoodling’ of their own. Rum Doodle is a

  • Perceptive and Passionate Writing Pranaya Rana's 'City of Dreams'

    Don Messerschmidt

    This Spilled Ink column is dedicated to good reading and writing in Nepal. This month’s essay focuses on both. Wandering the streets, the gallis, and ob-scure byways of Kathmandu, writing about love and passion, and about writing, are Pranaya Rana’s forte, judging from the tales he tells in his

  • Writing a Mountain

    Don Messerschmidt

    One dark night during the monsoon of 2008, Stephen Alter and his wife Ameeta were rudely awakened by four thugs intent on robbing and killing them. After a violent confrontation, the would-be thieves fled with nothing of value, leaving their two victims near death from beatings, choking, and

  • Listen Up! Or, Guess What Happened on the Way to My Lecture

    Linda Smith, Guest Essayist

    ‘Spilled Ink’ is all about communicating through reading and writing and, not least, attentive listening. Guest Essayist Linda Smith of the NGO Filters for Families admits that she didn’t listen to her bicycle one day. Big mistake! Here’s her story. This bicycle is not traveling today, it said in