Back to Thamel: our hotel upgraded us to The Everest Suite. So we each had our first shower in nine days (oh so glorious), I got to shave my armpits (heaven) and dropped our washing off to be, well, washed (poor guy).

Spot of shopping, a trekkers massage each (the guy on the desk said, “I remember you because you’re so beautiful” – obviously hadn’t seen me an hour earlier) (and here it’s so lovely because it’s a genuine compliment – in India you’d receive something like that with a leer), some more shopping and then we met up with Prem again (guide from last year) for a beverage.

What with dal bhat being all Craig ate in the mountains and us knowing both Prem and Megh (one who picked us up from the airport) froth on it, we’d bought both them and us each a “Dal bhat power 24-hour” t-shirt. And it was gorgeous; Prem leapt up and put it on straight away, and later on when we’d left he uploaded a photo of him in it to Facebook (as did Megh to a tee – haha, sorry – the following day too).

What with having two beers in him and two sangrias in me, Craig and I had wet the whiskers so to speak. After some dungarees purchasing and a shit cream doughnut for Craig, we had some whiskeys and water playing cards in The Everest Suite before heading out for some dinner. Potato skins, a rosti (the waiter took me into the kitchen to meet the boys and see it first) (the rosti, I shall clarify; nothing untowards), fajitas and apple momos went down sensationally with a 1.5 litre sangria (me) and about a billion beers (Craig). Then it was some tipsy shopping (more poppies and the trying on of an elephant tea cosy as a hat – “Miss, you know that’s not actually for your head”) the Irish bar (amazing, amazing band with whom I almost became a groupie to), two more bars and a stop at CFC (Country Fried Chicken – the sort of take off of KFC) for some fries (just, why?).

So suffice to say, yesterday morning

we were a little bit seedy.

Breakfast, check out of our hotel and move 20m down the street to the new one (absolute fluke but so appreciated in our state). Then we roamed around until 1pm, when we left for Megh’s house.

Before we hustled to the Himalayan hills, Megh had asked us to his home for lunch when we returned. “We’ll have dal bhat,” he’d said. So the day previous we’d received a message: “Come at 3pm sharp”.

We decided to walk the 11km to Gurjudhara where he, his wife and son lived (though his son was away on business). A solid two-hour trek in mud and madness, at 2.56 we sussed a taxi to take us up the hill (he’d said sharp).

And then we were there.

What beautiful home! A four storey tower, his wife was on the top (storey I shall clarify) cooking away. She enveloped me in a big cuddle and said, “Poppy, Poppy, Poppy” which was about all the conversation we could manage (she only spoke Nepali).

How excited they were to have us in their home. And they’d gone such lengths, buying Coke (a’cola) and chicken and corn as treats. I felt like a real asshole saying I didn’t eat meat and was fine with water (most people are vegetarians so I didn’t think it’d be a meat dal bhat) that I decided I had to forget being fussy and ram down some rice.

It was absolutely delicious and we were full to the brim (“Why you eat like a baby? More, more!” Megh said to me). They especially whipped me up a pickle sort of paste, which I tucked into and suddenly stopped when they told me it was made with marijuana seeds (“Will it hit me?” I asked, to which Megh laughed and said no so I continued). It was only when it was apparent we weren’t going to eat it all that they got their own plates and ate away too.

We were there for about three hours, never once feeling as though we wanted to take our leave. We talked about trekking, their home village (potential plan for next year there) and Megh told us tales of Lord Shiva (shit he sounds like a lad; always drinking and smoking all sorts, apparently his wife was away and he was feeling frisky so he had it off with a bull – Lord Shiva, not Megh. I loved when Megh was sharing the story, he referred to the parts as, “the male organ”). (He also called the crematorium temple the, “BBQ temple”; I just rate that).

At just before 6, we said we better get on our way.

Megh quickly showed us about his home office and all his certificates stating his mountain guide status, and then his wife draped a material sort of scarf over our shoulders (“What do you call this Megh?” Craig asked. Megh looked at him like he was an idiot. “A scarf,” he said). Then we said our goodbyes and tripped down to a taxi.

Feeling pretty sorry for ourselves still on the refresh front, Craig and I had an early night with lights out at 9 (after I got some henna and some sandals). (I almost got six sets but Craig made me stop. They jingled ok? So we compromised on five).

And today is my last full day here (Craig is staying another week on). I got up at 6am and went for a wander, then went back and packed up all my purchases (happy to note still some space for last second securements). We roamed around, went to Pumpernickel for a wee while, then larried about the lanes before our appointments at 5pm (to come).

Two things to finish;

1. Isn’t it incredible how in the Western world being sun kissed is sought after? In Eastern areas, being as white as possible is the way (I remember I first discovered this on trying to find fake tan in Thailand). As we were walking along, I saw a big sign stating the “handsome” man was fair fair fair. That greener grass.

2. I am so weird. I never realised how much emotional empathy I attach to non-living things; as I said earlier, when I got my unicorn dream catchers I had a conundrum because one had a little hole in it and I didn’t want to leave it behind (always one for the runt). It’s like when I’m at work and I stock up the jandals – I always put the ones from the back to the front, because I don’t think it’s fair that one that hasn’t waited as long gets to go first. And now aware, I realise I do it with everything; I agonise over which piece of paper to pick, which pen to purchase, what bottle of water to buy. It’s been like that since I was little though, blowing kisses at older people and animals (discreetly, let’s make note of that) and feeling sorrow at discarded things that still have life in them. I think it’s a case of highly sensitised sort of stamps, but let’s call them quirks.

I’m sad to go but know I’ll be back oh so soon. My Happy Hilly Himalayan Home.

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