Halfway up the hill to Ichok in Nepal’s battered Sindhupalchok district, a group of drunken Nepali men jumped aboard the truck. Some had covered their faces with chequered napkins while others wore clothes caked in dust. Bandits was my immediate assessment and they had chosen a particularly well-endowed truck to commandeer. We were sitting on sacks of rice—700 kilograms in total—that had served as a seat on a challenging journey up what looked like an unpaved mountain. In Nepal, ho