Bhutan is amazing. And unique. If you wanna go, let me know and I will hook you up. Won’t be free. But it will be good.
I feel as though I had the whole country as my personal playland. Every time I changed hotels, buses or cities, someone was looking out for the stray Chilip (tourist) and making sure I got where I was going.
Getting to spend so much time with Chhimi, his wife Seday, her parents (Ama and Apa), and their three wonderful kids, (along with most of Chhimi’s family), was quite a treat. It felt like home. Easy. Drama free. Fun. Safe. Wonderful.
Seeing how Buddhism is integrated into most of their lives (I mean no shit there is a temple in EVERY town!) is quite astonishing and comforting. It’s watching a traditional culture grow up right before your eyes, while they (hopefully) take into account the mistakes many cultures make.
Now it’s not perfect. There are blemishes. It’s free market. People see and want more. Especially in the city. Who knows? Maybe in 20 years they will morph into little America? Haha.
I will say that they are asking the right questions. As long as they don’t (and I doubt they will) open up investment to other countries (meaning buying up property), they will fight it out amongst themselves. It’s the one MASSIVE mistake communities and countries make. Letting outsiders buy property. If you live and work there. Fine. If the community needs investment to survive? Maybe. With limits.
But every single community in the US (certainly the beautiful ones) have made the mistake of letting investors and massive amounts of second homes drive up costs and drive out regular folks. I’m not saying the second home owners or investors are horrible people. I’m saying it happens. Over and over. And people in the margins that don’t own property get screwed or are pushed out. You make up your own mind. Don’t pretend it’s not happening. Ask yourself.
I had a great trip and looking forward to returning. I feel comfortable here but only as a tourist. Wish i could have my camper here and just cruise around. Chhimi being here made the trip. His family. Friends. People he knows. I am so fortunate and wish everyone could do it this way. Even got a traditional hot stone bath tonight! And man. The chilis! Ara! Druk 11000. Suja. I could do without the Doma.
Painful to watch the news from Texas and our local election. Can we just have a real conversation and not the name calling? Guess what? The founding fathers didn’t dream about semi automatic weapons and an armed 300 million people. They didn’t. I don’t want to take your guns. I also don’t want to carry one. Can we talk about it and stop thinking the extreme will happen? Can we also focus on mental health? And a healthy interdependent society? I WANT different opinions. Real ones. Not bullshit. But man. Can we just have a real conversation that is not so self interested and paranoid that we shout each other out? I remember when i could have a beer with my conservative friends and at least talk about it. Now? I am not missing America right now. Just the woman i love and family and friends. The bullshit is sickening. Truly.
Off to Kathmandu and another land I love tomorrow. My love to all the Bhutanese. What a place! Maybe the Snowman Trek next time. Right Chhimi?