My roommate at the youth hostel is a guy, I guess late-fifties, called Rob. Rob is a tax consultant and has been to all the 'difficult' countries such as Bangladesh, Tanzania and the Congo on EU missions to advise the local governments on best-practice in tax-raising. Invariably his local clients are as corrupt as hell and take not a blind bit of notice.
Where I see hellhole, Rob sees expat easy-living with a frisson of edginess. "They take it out on each other, not on us," he explains. Right.
Rob is off on a trekking holiday in Nepal shortly and is here to prepare. But he's wandering the same hills as I am, in the same atrocious weather (as I write torrential rain is battering the car roof here at the Storey Arms). Except he's wearing trainers and non-waterproof trousers. They were both soaked yesterday and today will be just the same.
Off to Brecon for a hot chocolate, I think.