Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sunday in Phobjika - a crane, a fleeting love affair and a football friendly

After breakfast I sat in the window of my room, soaking in the sunshine, playing the ukulele, missing home and friends and family.

Then I gave the mopeys a good kicking and roused myself to go visit the injured black-necked crane that got left behind when the rest returned to the Tibetan plateau.

I ran into a two couples from Singapore who spent last night at the hotel and their charismatic (naughty) guide. O! He held my hand to get over a stile and told rude jokes and told me he was leaving his heart with me. And I adored him, too!

But they had to go on to their next stop and I returned to the hotel, filled with giggles and love (shush, it was too love!)

I got to the road and people passing in a car stopped and offered me a lift. I said no thanks, but then they said they were teachers heading up to Phobjika Central School for a friendly with my teachers, so I decided to go watch and jumped in.

It took another two hours for the game to start because we were running on Bhutan time, and I made friends with two of the teachers. We sat and watched the match together as a freezing wind howled up the valley. You make friends much faster when you're huddled together for warmth. We spent more time gossiping than watching the game, they told me enough in English that I could follow the rest pretty well from tone and expression. They also taught me some more Dzonkha (although later I tried to tell one of my teachers I'd see him tomorrow and it came out 'I'll thump you tomorrow').

After the match we went up to the school's canteen (that I didn't even know was there) for refreshments. It was a low, dark, wooden building with creaking floors, a giant TV in the corner playing an Indian comedy show, plastic chairs and a wood stove in the middle for warmth. It reminded me so much of the epi bars in Andavadoaka, but bitingly cold instead of sweatingly hot.

And my heart feels so full of the relaxed kindness of the people here. There is no fuss, they just included me and made me feel cared for and loved and accepted.

I want to aspire to be more Bhutanese, but I'm wary of travel resolutions. People in Phobjika have been consistently kind, and I hope I am being a good example for people from Australia.


Birgit said...

Ceels you can rest assured that you are one of Australia's finest! Sounds like a lovely day.
I am feeling sad and missing my little family because they have gone home to Woodend after spending the night and morning here - Pete was here for 3 nights 😊

Hope you have many more relaxed and enjoyable (and love-filled) days with your Bhutanese friends.

Ceels said...

Thanks, Birgit! I'm looking forward to seeing your little family, too. And tell Mal I've had lots of practice on the ukulele, so I can add that to our Jam sessions. Could you also tell him I've tuned it to gCEg (I think) so that it matches the banjo capoed at the fifth fret (but one string up an octave)