46kms to go at Masurlya I stop at a shop to buy two small round yellow ball things and a solid fingerful of brown nutty mixture loosely padded into a bite-sized square. No idea what it is and no one speaks English and tourists like me passing through on the road are rare but it was all delicious. The smiling lady pointed me to the Royal Coffee House across the road where I ordered a sweet lassi and milky coffee at which point the reserved lady became a smiley one. In fact it was smiley country and if anywhere exemplified the maxim ‘having more to have happiness’ counted for so little, it was places like here; a tiny highway village sandwiched in the south by the massive Indian sub-continent whilst walled in from the north by the mightier Himalayas. It had nowhere to go but sideways and what was the point in that?
Just a thought
I rode on as if it were a holiday. After the rampage that is India, Nepal was a tea-dance, the fluffy cream topping decorating a cake and altogether more courteous. If India was the raging ego determined to show the world a thing or two, Nepal in the Buddhist way it follows was just there, probably waiting for it all to happen, should it dare. I don't know, but Nepal is looking similar in economic reality to when I first visited 42 years ago on my first bicycle ride around the world. Is Nepal dying? is it a bus stop for its own dysporia working elsewhere and just passing through?
“Wherever there was a scrap of soil amongst the ravaged crags, emaciated trees struggled to cling on: a poignant metaphor for the way so many Nepalis eke out an existence, defiantly surviving on less than nothing.”
Jane Wilson-Howarth, A Glimpse of Eternal Snows: A Journey of Love and Loss in the Himalayas
“This is a fine chance to let go, to “win my life by losing it,” which means not recklessness but acceptance, not passivity but non attachment.”
Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
And once again, as in the 'Magic Roundabout'
"Time for bed," said Zeebedee
Map of the Day