Sunday, August 30, 2009


We're back from Pelling after spending the whole morning trying to get a glimpse of the Himalayans through the fog (and failing at it), and especially the great Mt. Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world (8586 metres) lying along the western border of Sikkim. Sikkimese people regard Mt. Khangchendzonga, "The mountain of five magnificent treasures", as the guardian deity of Sikkim.

The Swedish-Japanese-French team celebrates its exploits of the past few days around a copious meal of yak cheese on tibetan wholemeal bread, chili chicken and local rum. The traditional fermented millet beer is also there, naturally. At around 10pm (All restaurants and shops have been shut since 8pm, it is therefore very late at night by now, to Sikkimese standards), we're kindly asked to put an end to our little party by the waitress, not used to staying up that late. Two men sitting at the table opposite us seem to be having a lot of fun just by watching us finishing our bottle of rum and oredering three more 650 mililitres "Hit" beers and engaging in rather crude talking (I will spare you the details here). In Swedish, they cheer by saying "skull", which means the same as in English, and comes from the fact that the Vikings would extirpate the skull of their victims before cutting the top, to be able to drink in it and celebrate their victory in a proper barbarian way. The expression is still used today. In Japanese, "Pierre" means "bi-mi", litterally "beautiful and delicious". After finishing our drinks we finally call it a night. Both of my comrads are waking up early tomorrow to catch the 6.30am Jeep to Jorethang, while I will stay a few days more in the village.

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