same, same, but different. wake up, stretch my arms, sun pours through the windows, bathing me in heat. i look at the clock. it's 7 a.m. back to sleep till 9. wake up, stretch my arms again, think, what am i going to do today.
could climb up to the snow line, would go see the dalai lama but i think he left for australia, maybe i'll go to the waterfalls in baghsu. but the days here start slow.
a day in dharamkot begins with breakfast. teeth brushed, clothes on, i grab my bag, walk through the gate, an immediate left up to the restaurant, where mohan and rinco smile and serve. "hello madam," they say. people alreading lounging on the cushions at a low table, sometimes chen and nurit, sometimes yael and ben, before that itamar and dena, who went to kashmir, and aviv, who went home. i join them, eat cornflakes or sometimes banana porridge, either topped with bananas.
we sit and we talk, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for hours. we talk about politics, we talk about diharrea, then we introduce ourselves to the new people, with whom we've just talked war and digestion. some people go down to the israelit restaurant to see what movies are playing. others go to the silver school to make jewlery. others go to yoga, or just came back from yoga. today i go down to baghsu, over the stones and the trails, through the trees. i want to sit and write but i forgot my notebook. i hop down the stairs, swig water, say hi to rupert, out for his daily walk, and find myself on the main street in baghsu. i go straight to bulu's workshop to talk to sam about my drum, but he's not there, so instead i play jembe while others play didg. then off to deep the tailor, where i laugh with him and he makes my pants, then makes them smaller, then makes them bigger, then makes them smaller, and finally i give up.
dharamsala for the traveler is slow, relaxed, always busy and always a holiday. at nights there are concerts, there are long sits, there are movies, there's time. it feels less like india than like summer camp. dharamsala for the resident is different. it's planting and harvesting and working and selling and living, and it's not summer camp. two different worlds, the traveler living on rupees to bide time for cheap, the native living on rupees to bide life and its expenses.