Linjon and I descended down the other side of the mountain from the Stupa. We had been told there was a waterfall to see, and truth was, really, we were both too cheap to pay for the water taxi back to Lakeside.
We walked for a long time, talking all the while. We saw the falls, saw a cave, and touched a more local side of Pokhara. By the time we returned to Lakeside, hours later, we were both sun-stricken and exhausted. But, in some way, we knew each well.
Travel friendships can be like that, sometimes.
As we sat down for beers and pizza at one of Lakeside’s many western-themed restaurants, Linjon admitted “I don’t know what you should do about your girl situation man. Stay with her or go, I dunno. Both sides seem bad.”
“Yeah,” I said with a shrug.
“I’ve never really gone with one girl before,” he said.
“Nah, never. I like choice too much man! It is like choosing one flavor of ice cream only. And a girlfriend, she is always wanting to limit you. I don’t have a lot of time, you know, studying medicine. And my friends who have girlfriends, they have no time.”
“But I am thinking, about when I return, maybe starting with this one girl.” He took a swig of his beer. “But your story scares me, man.”
I laughed. “All the best stories are love stories though.”
He contorted his face, paused, then said: “I guess I’ve never thought about that.”
When we left the restaurant, he needed to go left, and I needed to go right. We paused, for a moment.
“This is probably the last I’ll see you,” Lin said.
“Probably,” I responded.
We both wobbled our heads back and forth, seeing if there was anything more to say.
We settled for a firm handshake.
Bye. And good luck!
He walked away.
We didn’t exchange Facebooks, emails, anything like that. I didn’t even know his last name. There were no false promises, no gestures at the future, no if you’re ever in Germany…
Just a handshake and a goodbye.