Dharamsala, Day 2

The view from self’s room in the Snow Crest Inn, Nadi Village, Dharamsala

A knock came on the door, about 10 minutes ago.  It was self’s all-faithful guide, Max, who is 25 years old, who just got married to Gita, who earns $75/ month working for the Snow Crest Inn, whose father taught English in a private school …  Wait, where is self going with this?

Self chose the Snow Crest Inn precisely because her internet research led her to believe they had great wi-fi.  But all day yesterday, and most of today, there was nothing.  This morning, Max led her to an internet café (next to a “Sacred Lake”, called Dal), and she was able to blog.  She couldn’t do anything else, because Max was peering over her shoulder at everything self typed, and even though self trusts him, she didn’t want him see her passwords.  So she stuck to just her blog.

Then Max and self walked all around the town, and visited the Buddhist temple, and looked at a very old cemetery under the pine trees, and bought old stuff from the vendors in the market, and had ample time to observe how trash spilled helter skelter down the mountainsides, and how very well-fed the monks looked (much more well-fed than Max, or any of his fellow hotel employees —  if self lived in Dharamsala, she would definitely have to consider joining a temple a smart career move.  If one wanted to eat well, that is).

An old English cemetery in Dharamsala

As soon as they arrived back at the Snow Crest Inn, Max called a “mechanic,” and a short while ago, he knocked on her door.  “Madame,” (reserved for old ladies, ha ha ha haaa!) quoth Max, “the internet is working now.  You try.”

She tried and — gadzooks! —  it is super-fast!  Heaven!

Max also, by the way, helped self to get a cell phone.  In Bir, a store tried to sell self a “cheap” phone for 2,800 rupees.  In Dharamsala, the “best” phone in the store was 1,300 rupees.  Perhaps the store owner was a bit taken aback by the alacrity with which self fetched the rupees out of her wallet.

So here is a picture of the wonderful Max:

Max, outside the old Anglican Church (St. John’s, built 1852) in Dharamsala

For some reason, it seems really important to him that self is “happy.”  This morning, the first thing he asked self, after knocking on her door was:  “Madame, everything all right?  You are happy?”  And today again, after we had circled the market, and self had bought something called a “vajra” (Symbol of power, the young man selling it to self assured her.  “You hold a vajra in your hand, you become powerful,  like a god!”), Max asked, “Are you happy?”

Of course self is happy!  She is in Dharamsala, she just bought a cell phone that cost half what she would have paid in Bir, and she has for a companion an honest young man who keeps asking her, “Are you happy?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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