“Are you okay?”
These are not words one wants to hear in the middle of a job interview.
And yet, that was exactly what the Austrian woman asked me, halfway through my interview. “Are you okay?”
The answer was obviously no, anyone but I could have seen that.
But I said yes. Everything was fine. I was good.
I would not get the job in Austria.
Saffron, Linjon and I were sharing a room. Here at ABC, space was limited, and they were putting us three to a room, instead of just two.
I didn’t mind the extra company — Linjon had been an amigo on the trail, and after all, we were just going to be sleeping. Why would the presence of another person in the room matter to me?
[This is a chapter from my travel book. There are lots more chapters posted on the blog, but if you’d prefer to read them all at once, sign up for my e-mail newsletter and I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re available in a condensed form!]
We woke up the next morning to blue skies and crisp morning air — by now an expectation, not a surprise.
I brushed my teeth in the brisk dawn, standing outside and taking in the vista while doing so. The mountains in front of us, here, were wonderfully staggered, creating an illusion of movement. Probably the movement of the glacier caused that, I though, before realizing that I really had no idea how glaciers worked. The shape of the mountains could have been the result of anything.
It was true, I didn’t really know much.
We struck out fairly early. It was a sunny morning, which I was beginning to understand was typical Himalayan weather. The days here started sunny and clear, slowly accumulated moisture and storm clouds throughout the day, which usually dropped rain or snow in the afternoon, before clearing up in the evening for a cool, crisp night.
As we made our way up the valley towards Annapurna Base Camp, my cast of recurring characters had narrowed to no more than a dozen. I was beginning to get to know them all, as we struggled upwards, in mutual agony and awe.