Post written December 29: Today was my day to relax… and relax I did.
First, I discovered Himalayan Java close to the hotel… and I’m now writing this during my 3rd visit to this coffee shop. In fact, it’s been the same people working here all day, and they laughed when I walked in for the 3rd time. I guess I just like my nice coffee shops… clean, modern, and overlooking Phewa Tal, the lake in Pokhara. It’s not a bad way to spend the day. I’ve been eating oatmeal cookies while sipping on various drinks: coffee, honey lemon tea, and now lemon ginger tea.
In between breaks from the coffee shop, I’ve walked around for hours and hours… back and forth on the streets of the street festival, watching performances, food vendors cook up amazing looking foods, and children playing and dancing to the music. As my guide put it, it’s basically a Christmas and New Year’s festival aimed at attracting tourists, both international and domestic. The streets are packed and lively this evening, and I’m sure it gets busier the closer we are to the 31st.
For dinner, I decided I would bite the bullet and eat the street food. Here’s how I see it: I already became violently ill once during the trek. Yesterday, I ate a common Nepali dish of rice, dahl, and other veggies, which resulted in a horrendous morning in the bathroom. Third time has to be a charm, right? So I started walking around to different vendors, and before the night was up, I had tried jeri (a Nepalese sweet dessert), a vegetarian samosa from some vendor on a side street, a chicken skewer with chicken that had been sitting out for goodness knows how long, and some steamed vegetable momos, which are little spiced dumplings, but the sauce lit my mouth on fire. One of the best and most cultural things about travel is trying the food. I’ve been bummed that I’ve been in a constant state of stomach flux, and therefore, have had my fair share of all-day American breakfasts to ensure that I eat something. At least for today, I would shift to a mindset of cultural immersion, and just eat it all!
I have no idea what tomorrow morning will bring. Admittedly, I’m a bit scared. I apologize to my insides in advance.