Thursday, 5 May 2016

Final days in Bhutan

We had Wednesday morning in Thimphu and went up to see the last day of the festival at Buddha point. There were men doing a traditional dance with drums. Their costumes were scanty and it was cold and they were dancing, leaping and twirling in bare feet, right on the concrete. They all wore masks, but there were two dressed differently, one with a red mask and one with a black mask. They were the jokers. They were there to help the dancers and fix any costumes that came adrift during the vigorous dancing, but they were also there as disruptive elements, I think. The one with the red mask had a giant red phallus on a white scarf. Some times he would dance along with the other dancers mockingly, or swing the phallus around and around on the end of the scarf, or hit them with it, or let it dangle amusingly from his belt next to his own John Thomas.

I'd been thinking about our own presence at the school, we were there for twenty two days and I wondered whether we were more of a disruption than a help (it would be interesting to hear from the teachers' point of view). But watching the dancing, I wondered if we weren't a bit like the clowns. Coming in to the orderly running of the school, helping a bit, disrupting a bit, but still a part of the dance. But with no swinging, um, thingy.

Then there was a debrief at the Ministry of Education in the afternoon. We are to write a report about our experience.

Our hotel in Paro is dreamy. There is an extensive flower garden full of every imaginable thing, foxgloves, gerberas, lupines that would make you cry, roses, tiger lillies, pansies, everything. At the moment I am sitting in our sunroom that looks out on fruit trees and the back hill and it is peaceful.

We climbed to Taktsang, this morning. Some of the tourists ride horses up the first part of the climb, so I followed the hoof marks and pretended that I was my childhood pony who was willing and game and sturdy and went slowly, but never stopped. The smell of horsepoo made me stronger. Karma had suggested we leave the hotel at 6.30am and it was a brilliant idea, we were the first tourists up there and it was still cool on the walk up. It smelled of dust and pine trees. Occasionally one of those horns that the monks use would ring out from above us. I don't remember what they are called, but they sound like a joyous fart.

We were blessed by the monks at the top with saffron water.

At lunch I ate the most in one go since I arrived here. I still wasn't exactly hungry, but it was like my stomach didn't notice for longer that I was eating before it shut down. Then I went for a walk and found some marijuana to take photos of for my brother.

And now I've just re packed and everything is set to go. I have one set of clean clothes left to wear tomorrow on the plane. I spoke to Karma about the fact I have a very short turn around in Kathmandu (1 hour and 40 mins) and he says he can fix it. I don't know what he will do, but he is very resourceful. And if I make that flight in Kathmandu, I'll be home in Melbourne at midday on Saturday. If the internet will let me, I'll download a few episodes of this West Wing Weekly I've been hearing about to listen to on the plane. I think there is also a Gilmore Girls one, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I feel sad and exhausted and glad that I'll see everyone in Melbourne again (and dance!). And I think this is the longest I've been without talking to my mum. 


1 comment:

Birgit said...

Safe and hassle-free trip home Ceels!