Nepal 52: Something to Do With Your Hands

Pokhara Cafe

I shook hands with my opponent across the chess board. Beams of early-afternoon sunlight broke through the roof of the Pokhara cafe where we were sitting.

My opponent grinned a toothy grin. He was dark-skinned, freckled, missing one of his front teeth, and had a big, bushy white beard. He wore a light scarf wrapped around his head. This was the Malaysian.

Fifty-one years old, professional itinerant, and damned good chess player.

He’d just taken four out of five games from me, smoking hash almost the entire time.

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