There are a few things I've failed to mention about Leh.
* people carrying prayer beads and praying as they walk through the day.
*the delicious rice cardamom pudding that I will dream of when I leave.
* Lines to the ATM like waitin' for da club
*toilets of death. These can be found throughout India, but I've just thought about mentioning it. They are a weird hybrid of a western and turkish toilet. It's the size of a regular western, but with the turkish foot holds on top. So you have to climb up to squat. the entire bathroom is the shower so everything is always wet. This means that you are climbing up on to a slippery porcelain death trap. And I'm still not quite sure which direction I'm supposed to be facing, but I've found one that works for me.
*the hot fresh nan in the morning
*Yak cheese sandwhiches (surprizingly good and cheap)
*Butter tea (I finally got to try it! Believe it or not it tastes much like a cup of melted butter and salt)
Sumit, Carrie and I had a slumber party on the roof the night before he left. I liked her description of him. Something like an elf in one of her stories. When they vanish into the ether you feel a slight sadness. I thought that was sweet, but Carrie is always saying neat, sweet things. I agree. I feel like we bonded during his 3 hour therapy session over chai.
I spent yesterday running into everyone I've met. It's been so nice to wake up, go out for some hot nan with fresh apricot jam, and meet up with someone random for coffee. I've grown really fond of the crazy german. She got a little forclemped last night when we said our goodbyes. We agreed it was a shame that we met up so late in the game. She has 11 more months of a solo world tour.
The people here are so awesome. I sat with an old muslim man in a shop yesterday for over an hour negotiating a price for a stone. He kept saying "This stone very old! Very old!"- as in antique. That was his main bargaining chip. Then he would show me ones that were "cheaper" and "not so old." I found this very amusing and it still makes me smile. It's a rock. Of course it's old. These things don't form over night. I kind of mentioned that, but he didn't understand anyway, and he was too cute to argue with. I wanted to suggest maybe throwing out that the rocks were filled with gold. This would make a little more sense. I ended up getting the price I wanted and a really cute picture of the two of us. He was the most precious.
I really love meeting the women traveling here. They are all inspiring in some way.
I had coffee this morning with a woman that had jumped out of a jeep on the way to a treck during a break up, and took a bus back. Now she's staying out her trip and kickin it solo. I feel like I've facilitated at least 3 therapy sessions with strangers in the past 3 days. I guess this is appropriate because I've had several of my own while I've been here.
This week has been so great. The whole trip has been so great. I've been getting really sentimental about everything and and all of my experiences here. The other night at dinner (at our usual Tibetan cafe) I couldn't help but think about how cool chance meetings are. It's awesome to meet people and make a connection in such a short period of time. I feel like I really know some of these people. I might not be able to remember their name, but I feel like I know them. I'll never see most of them again. And that's ok. Summit, the Austrian Sprite, crazy german girl. I wonder what their lives will be like when we scatter. I'm going home with a money belt full of email addresses.
I should also mention that I took some Indian tranquilizers last night. This is probably the culprit behind my blissed out sentiment. I got them in Rajasatan to help me sleep. Actaully, Va Jay Jay got them for me so they are probably rufies. Whatever. They work nice and I got 5 for 10 rupees. I only took a third of one because they are unmarked and come with no directions. Plus, I wanted to stay awake for Watcher in the Woods with Carrie on the roof (that movie scared the shit out of me as a kid!). It's rained on us the past two nights. I woke up once last night and thought, "oh, it's raining... maybe we should move. eh, it'll stop eventually." That's how well I've finally been sleeping.
So for whatever reason, today has been lovely and relaxed and everyone seems so beautiful. Even the western hippies with their "I'm in India and going to play the part" outfits. Rest assured I will not be returning home in saggy baggy hippy pants, bangels dreds etc. I will be returning in my one pair of nasty jeans, my broken belt that I had to poke another hole in, and my sad scraggly scarf.
I miss you guys and can't wait to see everyone, but I'm really sad to leave. I'm trying to make lists of all the awesome things waiting for me when I get back. Like you.
It's my last night in Leh. I'm gonna eat chocolate balls and drink chai masala like they're going out of style.
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