Update from Himachal
Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
30Trip End Apr 06, 2009
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Through all this however, I have been doing some exercise, studying hindi, reading dickens, and trying to remember all the corny classic rock cover tunes I can in preparation for a final landing in Goa.
The fresh air has my smoker's hack all but gone, and eating every night with the family lots of rice, and dal or a mild curry with the indegenous hot peppers to spice things up on the side of my plate has allowed my health to return with lightning speed. The stressful clothing one wears in the western world is gone, aired out and fresh from the mountain breeze. The simple life is sinking in, an easy pace in which there is time enough for everything, as long as you give it time.
I haven't spoken more than a word or two to anyone who has English as a first language in a couple of weeks, and my own talk has lapsed into a pidgin of english and hindi, enoguh to understand and be understood. I don't miss it at all, but sometimes, as tonight, I feel as though I may want to toss back a beer with someone at least from France or Germany to renew my connection with my own euro-american roots. Hence it's "chopsticks" tonight, the local "chinese" restaurant and one of the two or three that you can get a beer with your meal in during the off-season. No more Khyber after their mutton masala almost killed me last week!
Thinking about going is tough, I love these people, this family. I make jokes and laugh at theirs, play soccer (football, to you euros) with the rambunctious little boy in the small yard by the house, wake up early to greet the sun as it comes over the mountain, and walk around with a generally happy feeling, a smile popping up whenever it feels the need.
I will miss this place and these people once again and hope to return as soon as possible.
Despite feeling a bit sentimental, the long road is calling, my heart beating time with the thump of Rocinante's single piston, longing to put the miles behind us once again. I could stay in Manali for my whole allotment in this country, but there are new places to see, new adventures to experience, new people to step into the heart, that is if you leave the door open.
That's it--I'm off to dinner. Hope I don't wake up with stomach problems tomorrow. . .