Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Day 7, Trekking Day 6 Tengboche to Dengboche

We were told that if we went to the early morning prayers we could ask the Rinpoche for blessings. From yesterday I knew that he was in Kathmandu so it'll be the assistant Rinpoche. Whatever that is. Abbot. I've looked it up. I'd noticed that during the prayers all the monks were presented with food and tea or maybe soup to eat. Some of it was biscuitty and wafery things, the sort you'd get in a Costcutter back home. Didn't look particularly ascetic.

On the way to Dengboche I was happily in the company for some of the way of Toovey and Hill(s) who devise list games with each other. The one I joined in on was naming the film where the hero had died. Now, I'm never the best with people's names anyway, unless I'm facebook friends with them so actors' names are the one thing I'm frightfully bad at. (Does that make me a bad actor?) But I managed to get quite high on the rounds. Jameau had posed the question what tube stop on the London Underground has the longest sequence of consonants. Easy. Knightsbridge. 6 consonants in a row. The other one was what tube stop has all the vowels in it. Hmmm I'll have to think about that one a bit more.

One of the things that I'd noticed was how little these people expected to live on, how little they needed. We passed a series of walled fields where we saw one of the locals were throwing rocks at a group of what looked like goats. I was going to ask him to stop as it seemed horrific that someone should be harming someone else's livestock. I'm glad I didn't as apparently they weren't goats but wild mountain deer and they'd broken down the wall and made an entrance and were slowly demolishing a farmer's crop of potatoes. I tried pitching some rocks at the deer but my efforts feel short of anything that was even in the deer hearing range so I gave up and said that we'd tell someone in the village further up the track. Pangboche was where we filled up on more chocolate and was able to stop for a toilet break.

We are so privileged living in the Western world. We want for everything and we get it so easily. We don't have to wait for a delivery from a passing train of yak to get the next bag of rice or potatoes or medicines, or we don't have to walk for 3 days to the next outpost to get stuff that we need. If we want food we just go to Tescos and get it, or heat it up in the stove (I don't own a microwave) or go out to a restaurant to eat. Alex Fudda made a good point saying how privileged we are on this trip. We turn up to teahouses and wait to be served, we can still shower if we want to pay for it, we sleep in beds.

This is an extraordinarily short blog. What's going on? I remember walking into the village with Hill(s) and Butler at the time and we were being greeted by trekkers going down hill. We didn't quite understand their smiles and cheers of encouragement. What was that all about. Their encouraging 'Not long now boys' type chat just wasn't what we were wanting to hear. Give us a break ladies. Every cow or dog or yak that we passed Butler's one joke of 'Ah Mrs Martin, such a pleasure to see you' was trying to prove the comedy rule that a comedy line is funny once, thrice or twenty-seven times. I think that he was at about at the 23rd time that day. Was I going to stick around to wait for the 27th? It'd be a masochistic mission.

Every shop we passed on the one fairly easy slope would claim that Dingboche was higher than the next shop by a good 40 metres, even though they were next to each other. Rather amusing. Perhaps they knew that by the time trekkers got to this point, they'd only look up at the shop they were going into and not actually at any others after that. Who knows?

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