The Sound Of Laboured Breathing - To See A Shopping Precinct
The day’s adventures begin with a cautious exploration of the street of shops that runs out from the Radisson.
We are reminded of ant lions as each store keeper, waiting behind a window display both colourful and enticing, leaps out at us to grab us and pull us inside. They don’t take no for an answer. And once inside!
The philosophy, fact or convenient myth, is that whomsoever should be arrested in this way is the first potential customer of the day and AS SUCH is in line for extreme good fortune.
It’s hard to argue with this wisdom.
The shops are laden with wonders. Cashmere pashminas exquisitely hand-embroidered in the mountains; yak wool shawls from Tibet; hand-made jewellery in beaten silver sold by weight rather than (obvious and delightful) artisan skill; enamelled and inlaid ornaments; prayer wheels.
So, laden with exotic goodies of every shape and form, the members of Hendo’s Hiking Harem stumble back to the hotel to regroup over breakfast.
But not before an apparition dressed all in orange, and with an uncharacteristic bucket for donations, has wandered purposefully up the middle of the road. A swami, complete with all the accoutrements, offers himself for a photo op; then holds out his bucket rather fiercely.
One suspects that his religious principles will not be protection enough from the dire consequences of non-payment.