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Holing up in Namchi

INDIA | Friday, 22 January 2016 | Views [345]

I arrived in Namchi in the early afternoon and selected the Rough Guide hotel least difficult to find. This being on the plaza, which is like a market town shopping centre. For the last 3 days I have been holed up Clint Eastwood style (well!) with my front facing hotel room, nursing my wounds and waiting for trouble to hit town. 

I've also been cathing up on my blog writing, which has been a tad difficult given there is so much to account for and some tricky emotions to manoeuver around, through or over.. ANYWAY, I am now pretty much up to date and that is a relief. Time to move on emotionally and physically, probably to Siliguri either tomorrow or the next day and thence ??

There is not a great deal to do in Namchi, which has suited me fine as I have not wanted to do much. No more walking for me for a while. I have, however, made friends at my internet and eating grounds, these being the Kava cafe, the Knights Inn (love the name) and Frets. 

Yesterday Jerry from Frets offered to arrange for me to visit some local sites, today Roman, a young friend from Kava, took me on the back of a Royal Enfield motorbike to the Buddha Park at Ravangla, basically a massive statue of the Buddha. I had no huge enthusiasm to see this but ended up enjoying the painted murals of the interior depicting in more episodes than usual the life of the Buddha. I was genuinely inspired, particularly by one mural of the Buddha treading a forest path as a renunciant not long after having given up his princely life. The radical nature of this step struck me more clearly than ever before - that was a lot of comfort to give up.

I also really enjoyed the ride, 28 kilometers through the usual winding roads at around 2000 metres above sea level, sometimes looking down on whispy clouds in the valleys below, with the purr/roar of the Royal Enfield beneath us. Motor bike lessons for me?

Another thing to add to my list of (maybe) to dos is to take some singing lessons. This prompted by an impromptu karaoke session at the Knights Inn for which I lost what promised to be a good film with George Cluny and Nicole Kidman. I could hardly object mind and in the end had fun drinking beer, listening to some really good renditions of Hindi and Nepali songs (they all had sweet voices!) and performing myself Daniel by Elton John, De Doo Doo Doo etc by The Police, Love on the Rocks by Neal Diamond (of course) and a Boyzone song with my new friends thank God. Needless to say I did not match local standards but recieved sympathetic encouragement in any case.

Once again I was the recipient of warm generosity, with a singing companion insisting on picking up my food and drink bill. 

The weather, otherwise, has been grey and drear aswell as periodically wet, which I have not minded too much except for today when I went to get my hair cut and decided also to have a massage. The massage was fine but by the end and despite a hot shower, cup of tea and proximity to a coal burner I was shivering. I still have not really recovered.

I have been reading the chapter in the Bodhicaryavatara on Fortitude.. 'Cold, heat, rain and wind, journeying and sickness, imprisonment and beatings: one should not be too squeamish about them. Otherwise the distress becomes worse.' I'm not doing so well on the cold section so am certainly not looking forward to the imprisonment and beatings part.

Enough from Namchi at present other than to say that I have been reading the introduction to a Penguin edition of Rabindranath Tagore's 'Gitanjali' and am please that England have won in South Africa and Tottenham are into the fourth round of the FA cup.



Tags: nothing much, waiting

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