Every step, every decision in my life has brought me here – a kitchen at 18:32 in Samar, Upper Mustang, Nepal. Waiting, accompanied by a glass of tato (hot) raksi, for mountain goat-head soup. A mutton that I witnessed being dissected at lunch time in Symbochen, a collection of houses separated from Samar by one town and a 4042 meter pass.
I do very little in Upper Mustang besides walking. Taking everything step by step.
The walking itself takes up about 7-8 hours including tea breaks and a dal bhat lunch stop. About 10 hours is spent in bed, trying to be as warm and comfortable as I can (both more challenging then the walking I do during the day). The remaining 6 hours are spent in the kitchen, the warmest and therefore liveliest room of the house. You would think to do something ‘useful’ with this time being full of ideas and energy from the beautiful day. But, no. I, among with everyone else, just sit, talk, listen, observe, eat.
This reminds me of how I spent 4 weeks doing the same thing in a different region of the Himalaya’s just 10 months ago. In a way I find it comforting that I have no desire to do anything. I am at total ease, happy. Yet there is a small part of me and my mind that is drawing me back to Amsterdam, work (?), ‘life’ (?), what is next? But if I am honest and sitting here in the kitchen, why go back? To the fast-paced life where every step can feel like a hustle?
On the other hand, if I have leart anything from my time in Nepal, including all the yoga and all the walking, is that it is not the place that makes me restless and rushed. It is my mind. So my challenge will be, keeping this feeling as I walk all day and relax in the kitchen all evening. Just being in the moment, wherever I am.
“people say that walking on water is a miracle, but to me walking on earth peacefully is the real miracle”
thich nhat hanh
Ps. The mountain goat-head soup, accompanied by my second dal bhat for the day, is not something I would have wanted to miss, simply for the experience. I am happy to have shared this meal with 9 porters and guides, in that kitchen in Samar. Hearing bones crunch and happy banter as for most it is the first meat in days. Will I eat it again, not likely…
- Postcard: Mt. McKinley – May 2013 – unfortunately could not hike the mountain because of the snow. But the mountain goat sure is fitting…
- Picture 1: Symbochen – October 2015 – Uncooked dinner!
- Picture 2: Symbochen – October 2015 – Try everything once – eating fresh, raw mountain-goat brain.
- Picture 3: Samar – October 2015 – The Samar kitchen, dealing out mountain-goat-head-soup.