The common room in Suile was cramped; just two communal tables, wedged up to walls of windows. The only solid wall in the building was covered in a giant photograph of Lhasa, the capital of nearby Tibet. In Pokhara and the Annapurna mountains, Tibetan culture and refugees are a common sight. I wondered if the owners of the guesthouse were Tibetan.
Their English didn’t seem too good—I’d had a hell of a time trying to buy wifi access from them.
I sat in the common room, as near to the router as I could get, trying and trying to send messages. I shouldn’t have bothered—the connection was so slow as to be useless. “Mountain wifi,” Anker had called it, with a laugh. “Very, very slow, “ he had said. I tried to send pictures, to no avail. Even simple text messages timed out again and again. The repeated failures did nothing for my sour mood.
Nor did the increasing chill, as the weather turned outside. Turns out, lining three out of four walls with windows results in pretty poor thermal insulation. I might have appreciated the choice more had the view been visible, but that afternoon, the entire valley was socked in with a drizzly, grey fog.
The weather didn’t seem to be dampening anyone’s else’s spirits. As I sat and stared at my phone, an older Canadian couple was chatting with a young German solo traveler. The German had fallen quite sick the day before, and been forced to spend the day recovering at the lodge. They were discussing if he could have altitude sickness.
“I have Diamox if you want it,” the woman said. “I’m actually a doctor. I’ve been volunteering in Nepali hospital for the past month.”
“Oh really?” the German responded. “I’m studying medicine.”
They descended into a discussion of specialities, before returning to the German’s mysterious sickness.
“I don’t think it’s altitude sickness, thank you though,” he said. “I am feeling better today than yesterday, I think I’ll just try and wait it out. My guide has been taking very good care of me. He says I just need some rest. He is like my brother, he is soooo good.”
I found the conversation irritating.
Outside, the rain began to intensify.