In cyberspace, though, Frank Bainimarama has been caught for all time paying homage to host India and its gods during a visit to the famous Golden Temple.
In what appears to be a short video to promote his attendance at the International Sugar Organisation meeting in Delhi last week, Bainimarama is seen wearing an orange turban and kissing the ground as his fellow temple goers cheer him on.
Footage shows him making a play for Indian rupees for tourism but he lets the side down with a sneeze and looks more like a village idiot than a statesman. Bush editing? Yes. Bush manners? Definitely.
We understand the intrepid traveller is home again but interestingly Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum appears to have the reins.
Elevated to 'acting prime minister', Khaiyum will be the one to meet New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully (pictured), and the rest of the ministerial contact group tomorrow, accompanied by Inoke Kubuabola.
We suspect the absence of Bainimarama has been quietly agreed to by the ministerial group and welcomed by the regime.
No doubt the illegal government wants to make the most of the first significant interest shown by New Zealand and Australia in three years and having the elephant in the room just won't work.