clueless abroad #03 (third)

we left nepal (and the greatest host ever!) on the day before the nepalis were electing a new constitutional assembly.  the voting was not made easy by boycotts by some smaller parties, and a general strike they imposed. the nepali electorate consists of several million women, several more million men and around 350 ‘third sex’, I heard.
the first time I came across ‘third’ was in the tourist office, when we were filling in an application for our trekking permit. besides the usual information like name, date of birth, address etc, one also has to fill in one’s sex, which includes again the option of male, female and third. I took that as an attempt to look liberal and cater to really all possible tourists at that moment.
now I know more, the thirds are recognized as a minority in nepal.
so the little mountain state prepared us for expanding our categories, for the all the men in skirts (longyi)  we are curently seeing in burma and all the lady boys we will be seeing in thailand.