I had a letter of introduction to a number of senior diplomats at our embassy in Kathmandu. The Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) is the number two person, and is a career diplomat (Vs. the Ambassador who is a political appointee of the current administration).

One of my favorite interactions was with the Kathmandu DCM. He had been in South Asia for 25 years. “You have to understand the mindset of so many South Asian people,” he said to me. “They view the world through the lens of conspiracy and intrigue. To these people, nothing is what it seems. There is always a shadow explanation.”

Years later, when it was clearly proven that a deranged Prince Dipendra murdered his family, I saw a poll in the Kathmandu Times saying that 90% of the Nepali people didn’t believe it for a second, and that the murders were seen as a much vaster family conspiracy driven by the evil brother of the King Birendra in a play for the throne.

Actually, people here at home aren’t that much different. Motives are always suspect. We attribute all sorts of intentions to others that are not remotely there.