More Saturday in Thimphu, 10/24/15
We've been Out and About for two weeks now, and the weather has cooperated totally, with sunny skies and calm days. Some days we've worn light jackets and others have been short-sleeve shirt weather. Nice, huh? Not a hint of rain ... just like at home in Northern California. Good for us in Bhutan, not so good for NorCal.
This morning we had a great field trip to Takin Preserve, etc. (see previous post), and lunchtime today was kinda special, held in the living museum, with entertainment!
Cooking the traditional Bhutanese (old-fashioned) way, for sure.
Just walking by this dish of chilies made my eyes water!
Our lunch began with a cup of butter tea, with barley. I drank mine, and it was okay.
Not all these bowls are for me -- Three bowls for three people, including soup.
Not really sure (other than rice ... which we get at every meal) what we're eating, but it was good.
The kids' dancing was graceful, the music lively and entertaining.
Certainly an attention-grabbing fountain! Bhutanese revere these symbols of fertility and fecundity. Many homes have the phallic character over the doorway or next to the door. Every shop has phallic symbols for sale. You can guess the Westerner reaction!
Chilies and garlic hung to dry.
All the weavers we've seen have produced beautiful goods. More artisans were at work, but I didn't get pictures.
Jimmy traded in his LiveStrong bracelet for the People's King bracelets. The young man he traded with was thrilled with the deal. Jimmy was pretty pleased himself.
After the museum, and on our way to the farmer's market, we stopped to watch a game of archery ... Bhutan's national game. These guys were amazing to watch.
The Centenary Farmer's Market, is a large, open-air two-story building, that was chock-a-block full of vendors selling their produce. Located a bit below the main town, near the Wangchu, it's open on the weekends. It's the largest domestic market for farmers in Bhutan; farmers come from all over the country (and India) to sell. The lower floor is mostly Indian farmers selling non-organic items, while the second story features mostly organic stuff. It's a favorite place for locals to shop and tourists like us to look, but not buy. Everybody knows you can't bring any of these things into the US, right?
Honestly, I live in California and I've never seen so many chili peppers and ground chilies!
We were served pumpkin soup several times in the past two weeks, most of it pretty tasty. The melon-look-alike slices above are Bhutan's variety of pumpkins. Fresh veggies, spices, cheese, incense, betel leaves, dried meats, you name it, we saw it!
Strings of hard yak cheese. Place one chunk in your mouth in the morning and it lasts for hours, so they say.
Sonam (our Bhutanese guide) and his Dad, who was visiting from the country.
Following our jaunt to the market, we returned to the hotel for a 3:30 lecture on Gross National Happiness, which was enlightening for our group. Basically, the essence of GNH philosophy is the peace and happiness of Bhutanese people and the security and sovereignty of the nation. If you want more info on it, feel free to Google it.
We met at 6:30 for our buffet dinner at the hotel restaurant. None of us lingered long after eating; So tired were we, in fact, that Jimmy and I were in bed sound asleep at 8:30. What a long, busy, fun-filled day.
Tomorrow we return to Paro in our little bus, where we'll spend the next two nights. (Paro is also where the airport is.) For many of us Paro is where we'll test ourselves. Paro is Tiger's Nest. to be continued ....