Wednesday

Land of no fences

Just because someone decides to call your country, Land of no fences, doesn't mean you're gonna blog about it. Or does it? Land of no fences is a nice enough appellation. Lesotho has been called lots of things, and has gone through many phases of development; it is rather quaint, I find, for such a country to be called thus. [ Read ]

When you really look at it, though, there are fences all over the place. Much lower fences, to be sure, than previously, and barbless. But they're there alright. I was recently amazed at the amount of effort it took me to get a response from an official, some official, any official. It was hard, made more so by insufficient or not really visible means of contact for government officials. That's a fence right there, mate. A wall. You can bang your head on it and bleed.

The size of the gap between rich and poor is a fence. The only thing that's equal between rich and poor is what the rich have and what the poor haven't got. I know that that's a low blow. To be sure, the power of the vote is equal, but that's about it, and that's rather recent.

It remains true, nevertheless, that Lesotho is a land of no literal fences. You can roam everywhere and anywhere, climb any icy peak and swim any clear river; you must, however, make sure you find the chief of the village and report your presence to him (usually, very few ladies hold that coveted position).