Hippies and happiness (Pokhara)

We arrived to eat dinner and sip cocktails with a perfect view of this beautiful lake. I had no idea what I was expecting when I left for Pokhara, but I wasn’t expecting the quiet little Queenstown-like town it is.

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Before long, with more new friends, we ventured to the other side of the lake where the Brits had randomlly found a cute little guesthouse with a family, home grown foods and an even greater view of the lake. (Header picture). Had it been any other time of year, this view would have been a panorama of the Himilayas… damn it! Oh well, can’t really complain when it’s still this beautiful.

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The family had five dogs! Soooo cute!!!

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Lake and mountains, what a combination.

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Time stood still after a big glass of a “special” banana lassi.

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Good food, good friends, good music, books and movies, friendly dogs and lovely bush and lake walks. I left a day later feeling as if I had been doing absolutely nothing for months.

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On occassion, very early in the morning, the sky is clear enough to catch the Himalayas peaking through and tease you with what you’re missing. It’s as close as I’ll get to them on this trip – it’s off season and walking all day in the fifty degree heat is not so appealing…

 

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Watching people meditate is almost a meditation in and of itself.

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I found myself a new yoga guru, Rishi from Rishikesh, to teach complex asanas (poses) and pranayama techniques (breathing) and the theory behind why you do what and the long term health you can create for yourself with yoga.

Yoga combined with a book Gil loaned me containing essays of scholars from the world’s major religions has spurred me to do a lot of thinking about life, happiness, purpose, and the future. I guess that’s nothing new… it’s just now it’s coming from a less optomistic more realistic post-India perspective… I’m sure I’ll soon be sharing – once I make at least a little sense of it.

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Instead of hiking I’ve been spending my days in a hotel pool at the top of a mountain with my yoga buddies. I get a 15 minute hike up the hill – in the heat that’s sufficing my hiking desires for now.

Judit, my new Spanish friend, has plans to go back to India and stay for up to five years… I’m impressed. I guess India is one of those places you either LOVE or HATE. Apparently “The rest of India is great” – I saw India’s worst side – the worst cities in the worst season. Maybe I’ll go back… one day… in the very very distant future…

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Cute restaurants abound this place: good food, and VERY CHEAP – like $1-5 a meal!

The best meal was “Buff”, a juicy, tender, sizzling buffalo steak… if only I didn’t have to eat it in shame. Surrounded by vegetarian hippies and Hindis I feel the pain of the animals through the pain they try but fail to conceal in their eyes.

To eat meat, or not to eat meat – that is the question. Usually a debate follows.

I justify my actions by explaining that if our ancestors hadn’t have learned to extract meat and bone marrow from other animals, we may not have survived and our brains certainly would not have evolved to the complexity they are today. Meat is brain food. Then they point out that when it was a question of survival it was one thing, but now we have a choice – there is plenty of other proteins we can eat that do not involve harming other forms of life. They make a good point. Why does meat have to taste so good, smell so good, and make my body feel so good? I usually go on to tell them that beans and vegetables don’t have have the protein or iron of meat. I explain that of course I do not like the idea of animals dying on my behalf but that is the way of nature. We have our pick because we are presently at the top of the food chain, and one day we’ll probably be at the bottom again. I am personally not afraid of death – death is part and parcel with the cycle of life. When I die I hope that other animals eat my body and that the cycle may continue. If you are going to care about animals dying, then what about plants? Are they not lifeforms with some form of consciousness too? Where do you draw the line between different forms of life? More of an issue to me is not the death of these animals for my food… what I care about is the crappy life they have to endure before this death. It’s more difficult when travelling but when I’m home I purchase free range chickens and eggs, and meat that comes from organic farms where the animal has lead a good life and avoiding as much as possible the large scale production facilities. They tend to agree with me on this point. And out of this dialogue I agree it’s a good idea to cut down on my intake. I suppose I don’t need meat/poultry/fish/eggs every day.

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By and large my time here has been spent sipping banana lassis and masala tea, reading and writing and dreaming.

I understand how some of the hippies we hang out with at Shiva Bar have been travelling for 15 years!!! One of them uses paragliding as a mode of transport – now that’s a green way to fly…  taking literally the idea of letting the wind guide you to your next destination… 

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Life has never been so simple.

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1 Comment

  1. 28 Sep ’11    

    Hi iam bishnu Subedi, local residence of Pokhara, Thank you For these word about pokhara but why you post this blog under INDIA ? Dear Nepal Is a different country then india…please re-post this article under NEPAL

    Thanks

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