Wednesday, April 27, 2016


1. Watch heart-in-mouth as your plane prepares to land -wingtips brushing the mountain sides.

2. Admire the quaint golden airport nestling amidst those same mountains with all of 2 tiny wonderfully colored planes bravely holding their own. (The airline serves delicious snacks and you should stock up on these for reasons explained in point 9)

3. Travel long hours over roads under construction (by India- Hindu-Bhutani bhai bhai) with one eye on the mountains rolling into another and then another and then another... and the other on the car's wheels slipping into one ditch and then another and then another...

4. Scream excitedly at the sight of snow topped mountain ranges- Jomolhari and other unpronounceable names, some of which you have seen before but which enthrall afresh.

5. Watch mountain streams gushing down the above mountain slopes ice cold, sparkling and unbelievably clean (the natives insist they are rivers. Don't you know you ignoramuses, rivers are 5 times the size and 5 times the volume and either dark brown/ dark green/covered in hyacinth)

6.  Buy a Kira, pride yourself on draping it gracefully; discover when you triumphantly emerge from your room, that you have worn it the wrong way round and also that nothing is going to make you look as graceful as the natives. Ever.

7. Visit the very clean and disciplined Thimpu and curse your home town for the filth, the traffic and the disregard to traffic rules.

8. Cross over ravines on a wildly swinging rope bridge with unevenly darned patches specifically put there to trap your feet.

9. Starve. The food is horrible. See expression in pic for veracity.

10. Go shopping and find each and every thing is made in Bombay. Not Mumbai.

11. Love love love the pear trees in flower and the peach blossoms and the rhododendrons.

12. Stuff your bags with pine cones that leave even your dirty laundry smelling sweet and piney.

13. Run Mary Poppins-like down the mountain slopes, trip over hidden roots and fall full length. (Natives' day made.)

14. Soak in the solitude, lack of tourists, the lack of locals and the plentitude of yaks. ( Pop 7 lacs -people not yaks)

15. Visit Haa the sweetest and most delightful village you will ever see out of Europe, with air as clean and sharp as the local  peach wine. (Keep in mind though: Pop Nil; shop nil; food disgraceful )

16. Visit the fertility temple, the road to which is paved with little hotels and littler shops all festooned with penises in every size with one about 5 feet. This one seen in the washroom is more realistic. (Really? Who am I kidding? )
17. Visit the Dzongs.  They are beautiful and ancient (and one Dzong is much like the other and all involve much climbing, so spare your feet. )

18. Learn that a god portrayed in a sexual pose with a goddess implies not the enjoyment of the baser pleasures of life but that the god is engaged in imbibing wisdom and peace from the goddess.

19. Attempt to climb up to Tiger's Nest. Fail miserably.

20. Discover that the fact that Bhutan has a high Gross National Happiness Index is true. This is based on the principle that ignorance is bliss. Sorry all you Dorjes...

Warning: Some of the above matter may be influenced by the fact that one of the museum staff did not return my misplaced cell phone.

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