Nepal 78: Sulking in Suile

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.

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Nepal 67: The Morning After

Annapurna South

I awoke late. My restless night hadn’t afforded me much chance for good sleep, so when I’d finally drifted off to sleep, mortified, I hadn’t wanted to wake up.

A perfect sunbeam from the bedside window hit me square in the face, and my memory of last night came rushing back to me. It was far too vivid to have been a dream. I opened my eyes and glanced out the window.

It was an amazing bluebird morning, only small wisps of clouds to be seen. The sky was an almost ethereal blue color: so perfect it almost didn’t seem real. Behind the nearby mountains, a huge snow-capped peak showed its face. I sat up and stared in wonder. Although only a tiny portion was visible, the mountain looked like nothing I’d ever seen before.

That’s what I came here for, I thought.

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Nepal 45: Howl

Alan Ginsberg Howl

My search for breakfast again took me along the touristy Lakeside strip. I didn’t much mind though—after a month of having the “local experience” in Taiwan, I was more than happy to play the tourist for a little bit.

And the Nepali love tourists. Not in a snide, disparaging way like you might find in some other places— the Nepali genuinely love their visitors, and are happy to help them experience the culture and natural beauty of their country. This is the only touristic place I visited on this trip where I didn’t feel any sort of tension between the tourists and the locals. So if you’re going to be a clueless tourist looking for a piece of home, Nepal is as good a place as any to do it.

My search for familiarity led me to the Pokhara branch of Himalayan Java. I had spent some time at the Himalayan Java in Kathmandu.

Apparently it’s a chain, I thought to myself as I spotted the signs. Maybe not a chain, could just be a second location. After all, the Himalayan Java in Kathmandu hadn’t seemed particularly slick or reproducible. And although Nepal’s a wonderful country, there probably aren’t too many opportunities to open a western-style coffee chain. Kathmandu, Pokhara, maybe Chitwan, I mused as I crossed the road and headed to the coffee shop.

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