Saturday, March 13, 2010

I can put a spare bulb in my hand, and light up my yard

There's a power plant up the holler where I live, right off my front yard. As you walk back through a misty midnight rain, you can see the glow over the ridge.

It's been one week since I posted anything to this blog, but so much has happened since then. Met a man last night who insisted upon telling me all about the separation of the powers of state and religion in Bhutan, that Bhutan is heaven, and that when he is reincarnated, he wants to come back to Bhutan and will be very disappointed if he is not. I don't know, getting reincarnated in the same place - even heaven - would not suit me; it would have all been done before. I mean, it's the same kind of distaste for the ordinary that got me to come to Bhutan. You've got to throw off the chains and addle your brains with madnesss - we've got plenty of time to grow old and die, and the white picket fence will always be there waiting for you.

And you never have to give up your old life. We got our schedules for the year. The school year ends in November, though the state exams are in December, so it's possible I might be able to leave to spend Christmas with the family.

But back to the power plant. As one of Jon and my coworker's so eloquently ranted the other day, "Nothing is cheap in Bhutan except for whiskey and electricity!" And the Bhutanese put water in their whiskey. Bad form. All I need to say about that.

I've had internet for several days now. I got a usb stick from tashi mobile that claimed on the package to work with GRPS and EDGE networks, but which when I plug it into my computer informs me that it is working on tashi's 3G network. Hey, if they want to give me a better deal than advertised, fine by me. Unfortunately, living in a concrete shell prevents me from using the internet while in the apartment. For instance, if I'm on Skype, you can call and I will answer, but the connection will last all of 25 seconds before dropping for the next five minutes. Still, I'm very excited that it actually works and costs a very reasonable (in my mind) 777 nu a minute for unlimited data.

The cars here are of the type we used to see driving around maintenance men in Princeton - tiny, tiny, and underpowered. Fine by me; it's rather weird sitting in front of an SUV or even a sedan by yourself and thinking, this entire mass of metal is here simply to move me, and then compare that to the utilitarian simplicity of a bike. Of course, the American way has its advantages. We were sitting in the car of a Bhutanese friend tonight and her car simply lacked the power to make it up a hill. And Bhutan is in the mountains. There is nothing that is not a hill or a bigger version of such.

The bar food in Bhutan is excellent. The salted herring which is simply only adequate as a source of calories and protein suddenly becomes tasty when the bartender tosses it in the microwave and slathers some chili sauce on it. And the various balls of fried dough/onion/stuff goodness are, as stated, good. And Jon and I are going to make fried chilies as bar food a thing in the states; spiciness just works perfectly with a refreshing Druk 11000. But as for the liver dish that one of our Bhutanese friends tried to get us to try, I think never is enough.

March Madness starts next weekend, the American event I am most disappointed in missing. Of course, CBS broadcasts the games online and I do have my usb stick... Now, those daytime games there do start at midnight over here and end at nine in the morning, but who needs sleep? Actually, I think I might take some Advil PM, conk out at eight or nine here and wake up at 5 in the morning to watch some of the night games. Doubly certain about that plan if that's when Duke plays. My bracket's gonna be pretty much chalk this year, especially with such a weak bubble, with the exception of 2-seed Duke (90% certain WVU or Purdue will be given the nod for the final uno over the Devils) which is going all the way. When it happens, remember I told you so. Even though I tell you this every year.

There will be more writing - there's some fantastic things I haven't even had time to mention. I'm going to go to sleep now, and dream (what will I dream about?), and wake up here. I wish I could go over and be with you, and light up your room.

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