Holiday Dangers

The news that a Zimbabwean tourist taking an outdoor shower in a wildlife camp got killed by pride of lions once again reminds us that vacation trips can have dangers. Remember the 2009 boat tragedy on the Periyar river in Kerala that killed 40 people? Or the large number of tourists that go to our beaches and rivers and get washed away.

Nature is an unforgiving place and those of us who venture out from the confines of our cities should understand this. Many of us don’t and that adds a layer of significant risk to our vacations which often goes unrecognised. The fact that we mostly emerge unscathed from our trips does not mean that we have not, knowingly or unknowingly, taken big risks; it just means we have been lucky.

What is equally disturbing is that safety is an aspect that neither the tourism industry nor the government is paying any attention to in India. It is time that we changed this inattention.

Another Africa story – this time in Zimbabwe

From The Dispatch:

A Zimbabwean newspaper reported that while transporting mental patients from Harare to Bulawayo, the bus driver stopped at a shebeen for a few beers. When he returned, the 20 patients had vanished. He stopped at the next bus stop and offered lifts to people waiting. At a Bulawayo mental hospital he handed over his charges, warning the nurses they were particularly excitable.

After three days the hospital staff finally became convinced of the truth by the consistency of the stories by the 20 people. The real patients have vanished, apparently blending back into Zimbabwean society.

Not that such stories don’t occur in other places (and God knows India has even crazier stuff making it to newspapers practically¬† every day). But somehow these Africa stories warm my cockles more.