Virtually at Everest – part 1

I’ve not commented much on anyone’s blogs, recently, as I’ve rather gone into my shell for a bit. I do this at times, I’m afraid…engagement feels difficult…

And I’m fed up with having to sit around all the time with my foot in plaster and bandages. Even reading and writing is becoming a bit boring. Probably those two things are connected.

For my previous post, I revived my spirits somewhat by taking a virtual train journey in Sri lanka, so perhaps I should try something a little more adventurous this time, and put my virtually healed foot to a bit of a virtual test.

What about a trek up to Everest base Camp, then? That’d certainly test it out. And since I’ve got all of this virtual time at my disposal, perhaps I’ll do it the hard way.

But to start with, I’ll have a few days in Kathmandu; I always feel better for that. Just walking around Thamel and browsing in the shops there, stopping occasionally for tea or a snack or a beer at the Rum Doodle, ending up with armfuls of books I didn’t really intend to buy, handmade paper to paint on, handmade notebooks with beautiful cloth covers, some wood carvings…

105a

Luckily, this is a virtual journey, so I don’t have to carry them around with me. I’ll send them back home in a virtual package. But before I do that, I’ll just nip into this inviting looking restaurant for some lunch.

Oh, hell’s bells! Here’s Bob! ‘What on earth are you doing here, Bob?’

‘I heard you were a bit bored, so I thought I’d come along to cheer you up.’

‘Oh, that’s most, er, kind of you, Bob. Where are you staying?’

‘Kathmandu Guest House, Mick. Same place as you. In fact, I got the room next to yours.’

‘Ah. How…nice. Um, have you eaten, yet?’

‘I was just going to order. Oh, they don’t seem to have pizza here.’

‘No, they don’t. there’s a restaurant nearby where you can get one, though. Would you like me to show you where it is?’

‘No, that’s okay. Tell you what, I’ll try whatever you’re having. I’ll have the same.’

‘Really?’ Bob is probably the last person I’d describe as adventurous. I’ve never known him try anything new, and I just can’t believe he’s actually come to Nepal. I’ll ask him why once we’ve ordered some lunch. ‘I’m having the thugpa*, Bob. And a lemon and ginger tea.’

‘Sounds good.’

I order, still slightly shocked, then turn back to Bob.

‘What on earth brought you to Nepal, Bob?’ He looks down at the tablecloth, and seems a little embarrassed by my question.

‘Ah, there was a little, um, confusion, there.’ I wait, but he seems reluctant to continue.

‘And?’

‘I was planning to go to Naples. I think the travel agent must have misheard me.’ He looks up. ‘But it was great to bump into you. We’re going to have a brilliant time!’

‘So it was nothing to do with me being bored, then.’ He looks hurt.

‘Oh, it was! I just thought you’d gone to Naples, too. That’s where your wife told me you’d gone.’ My wife is, indeed, under strict instructions not to tell Bob where I am, and Naples must have been the first place she thought of.

Such is life, though. We chat a little, and the food arrives. Bob looks down at his with an expression best described as ‘disappointed’.

‘They’ve brought us soup.’

‘It’s thugpa, Bob. What we ordered.’

‘But I…’

‘You said you’d have what I’m having,’ I say, firmly. ‘I’m having thugpa.’

‘Oh, okay.’ He watches me eat for a few moments, then asks ‘Can I have bread with it?’

‘You can ask.’

He asks. The waiter shakes his head. Bob argues. He doesn’t want rolls. He doesn’t want brown bread. The waiter disappears, and moments later a boy dashes out of the kitchen and out of the front door of the cafe. A few minutes later he is back with a small package wrapped in newspaper. He runs into the kitchen. After another minute the waiter is out again with a plate, holding two slices of white bread, a knife, and a small mountain of oily butter, which he places down in front of Bob. Then he gives Bob a look that I can only describe as ‘withering’ and returns to the kitchen.

‘See, I knew they’d have it,’ Bob says, triumphantly.

Afterwards, he suggests we go sightseeing. ‘Let’s go to Swayambunath,’ I say, ‘You’ll find that interesting, I’m sure.’

‘Oh, what’s that, is it a castle?’

‘They don’t have any castles here, Bob.’

‘None?’ Sightseeing for Bob means castles. Or gardens. ‘I’ve got my phone with me. Let me take a look.’

‘Oh, I was rather hoping you’d have left that at home.’

‘No fear! I don’t want to get lost in a strange place! Now, what was that name again?’

‘Don’t worry about that, Bob. We’ll get a taxi.’

‘Oh, great!’ His eyes seemed to light up at the thought. ‘I know all about that! You have to haggle, right? For everything. I’ll do that, Mick. leave it to me!’

Well, although I seem to be saddled with a virtual Bob, I’m not going to let that put me off. Although I am painfully aware of the potential for him to offend people left, right, and centre, and possibly cause an international incident.

I suppose we’d better find a taxi.

*thugpa is a Tibetan dish, usually a clear soup of noodles and vegetables

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44 thoughts on “Virtually at Everest – part 1

  1. Thank you for coming out of your shell to comment on my blog Mick. I know how difficult it is when you just want to be cocooned away. I’m sorry too about the boredom and would have offered to help but now you have a friend and seem sorted to making a move on base camp, I’ll leave it.
    Enjoy the walk.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This virtual adventure is most exciting! I, for one, am delighted at the appearance of Bob. Also, the Rum Doodle sounds like a brilliant place – what a name! I shall name my first born child Rum Doodle. Hope the foot is holding up, I have the nurses uniform and wine on standby 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seems others are more excited at the appearance of Bob than I am. Can’t think why, of course.

      The Rum Doodle is a splendid place, named after a book about a fictitious expedition to the fictitious mountain of the same name. An extremely funny book.

      Now, the wine and nurses uniform…what better way to tackle the Carry on Poirot script?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Meghan Tregellis

    This is going to be fun! Virtual Bob will be nothing but trouble, I think. Fun for the readers, maybe not so much for you! 😜 I’m excited for the virtual tour as it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to Everest Base camp. Hope the foot heals quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rumdoodles is no longer in Thamel! It moved to Naxal after the 2015 earthquakes and to my mind, no longer has the same unique vibe about it. They kept the Yeti feet though and I managed to find my team’s 2011 summit of Island Peak in the new location.

    PS I predict Bob will find serenity in the Solokhumbu

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rum Doodle gone! It already moved location once between my visits to Kathmandu, although I suppose i shouldn’t be surprised after the devastation of the earthquake. I’ve found it on the map and I see where it’s gone. It’s nice to see that a lot of familiar places seem to still be in the same locations, though.

      Not sure about Bob and serenity, though. He always seems a bit too fidgety and nervous for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope Bob likes Swayambhunath. You could take him to the Garden of Dreams next. Maybe you could try Gorkha beer.
    I think it at some point or the other every blogger goes through this phase of boredom when reading blogs becomes monotonous. It takes a bit of an effort to break out of that shell. Nice to have your visit on my post, Mick. 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it’s only natural to want to withdraw a bit when you’re body is injured or sick. At least with Bob around, you won’t be lonely or bored anymore! Seriously, hope you are back to your self soon, but meanwhile, just be patient and gentle with yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It always has been, Arv. That was the part of Kathmandu where he first travellers congregated when Nepal opened up to tourists in the 1960s/1970s, and it’s never looked back! A great place to wander round, though, since it’s a mix of a few up-market places but mainly budget ones, with masses of little shops and stalls much like a lot of India, and a lot of shrines, temples and linghams.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loving the story Mick, virtually everything about it rings true (virtually). Been searching all over the web for Bobs Blog where he tells of meeting his best friend Mick in Naples but no luck so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Virtually at Everest – part 2 – Mick Canning

  9. I read part 2 before one ( FKW) but it didn’t seem to make any difference. Still as funny
    I can imagine myself ( well, virtual, almost) sitting across from you both at the table.
    A superb Double Act.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A trek to Everest base camp is a good test of anybody’s feet whether real or virtual.
    I’m glad that Bob is joining you, although I can see why you’re not.
    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your adventures (I’ve been away with Martin for a week so am just catching up).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lol, I hope your foot gets better soon; you may need to break into a sprint to lose Bob. I rarely engage in posts, also, I’m afraid. For me, it’s because just writing books while I have ME is a Herculean task; I have little energy left for chatting anywhere. But I’m glad I joined you briefly for a visit to Naples. I must admit, I was expecting more people to speak Italian. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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