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Thimphu, Bhutan

March 2st, 2003

Fishing Day
Buddist Bhutanese don't fish as it opposes their philosophy but they will eat fish if someone else catches and kills it.


Harry (in foreground) & Nick.

I found out Harry has never caught a trout in his whole life.


HRH

Unlike Harry, HRH keeps his pole tip up and sits with his feet in the water. HRH caught a trout after just a few casts.


HRH also brought chocolate for the locals which must be good for one's Karma.


Mele

Mele loves fishing!

Oddly this first fishing spot was not as great as it seems. It was very close to town near what looked like a water treatment plant and it was the access point the Tibetan Refugees use to do their laundry. The visible garbage floating in the water made us joke nervously. We started calling all the plastic bags 'jellyfish'. There was a stench in the air, but it turns out to be from a rotting cow carcass. The refugees coming to the river look very poor. Robin trys to tell me that the Tibetan Refugees are all business people. He says they sell apples and things. But their little ramshackle hovels of bits of wood an wriggly tin are small, crowded, muddy and unsanitary.


A little while after HRH caught his first fish we drive futher out for a good hour to a second location. It was amazing! It was quiet, beautiful, clean and fish were jumping all over the place.


Eric was more excited by the Monastery perched on a cliff far above us.


Harry tried a few different lures.


HRH caught another trout.



HRHcaught two fish on this day but March 2nd is a special day in Bhutan. It marks the beginning of a 'no killing' month. For one month it is against the law to slaughter new meat (we are told the locals all stock up). So, our guides kept HRH's fish alive in water and then threw them back into the stream when we left.

 

Movie Night
The town movie theatre was open tonight and there was a 6pm show. So, we put on our warmest jackets (HRH had advised me to bring my fur coat with matching hat from Mongolia for just such an occassion) and we headed out from the hotel across the river to town.


Nayamrog "True Friends" at the cinema.

Nayamrog is about three guys who went to school together. It is set in modern times. They are talented and popular. They graduate. Then two of the friends drive off in with a girl. The guy left behind hides his saddness. Maybe he is in love with the girl? There is a shot of the group driving off all hanging out the windows of a white jeep waving goodbye. It is kinda comical because I don't understand much.

Then the guy left behind breaks his leg and when the others get the news it is very tense and dramatic. Maybe he lost his job too? Then the guy who broke his leg travels to see his friends. His gets better but his cough gets worse. He gets put in the tuberculiosis ward, but when his friends visit they don't wear masks? Then he escapes or leaves the ward. But he is still really sick and is in bed at his friend's house. There were moments of comedy and the audience laughed a lot. It seems to be a fairly complex film with plot and subplots, but I can't say I understood the film. The camera angles and moves didn't seem to offer much aid. Lighting was harsh. I wondered if maybe the transfer from DV (or miniDV) to projection was causing the blowouts and alternatively, extreme darkness? Nonetheless it is pretty professionally done and full of beautiful scenery and modern buildings and occassionally breaks out in song, but not as 'music video' as the Indian films.

Overall, I decided I must take a translator next time.

 

Afterhours
Did I mention the Rum? Bhutan makes it's own local rum. They have several versions where they combine different herbs in it. The difference between each is very sutble. My first night at Benji's I had the 'Yeti's Milk' before dinner. Tonight in the back of the restuarant sitting at the cosy and minscule bar I tried 'Four Friends' then 'Dragon's Breath' followed by 'The Divine Madman.' I believe there are still four more flavors to try. I hope the chance presents itself for me to do so!

 

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photos from HRH's party
 
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"Reality is that, which if not dealt with properly, will kill you" -Dan Foley

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