Bir, Himachal Pradesh

My second day in Bir. I’m staying at Chokling Gonpa, currently in the guest house but soon the monastery, once they have my room painted. Today has been good. Last night I had a had a hard time sleeping due to what I thought was a lack of blankets — what do you know but at around 4 am or probably later I opened up the cabinet next to the bathroom and lo! a cabinet full of blankets — I should have known better than to think that they wouldn’t provide blankets! I woke up late, around 10:30 or later as I remember; went to the internet at Ramu’s — came back to the guest house a little late for check out time, packed my stuff to check out thinking that I’d be moving into a room in the monastery today, and went downstairs to the ground floor, only to be met with “Where are you going?!” by the young monk guest house manager — the monastery room won’t be ready for another day or so, he said, and I should just stay in the guest house until then — so Ok, took my stuff back to my room — I began to meet the monks around this time — one of them, Namgyal, asked me to teach him in the evenings and I agreed to do so — I first saw him with Lama Pema, the older lama who’s coordinating my lodging situation — I was offered lunch by Namgyal, and very shortly after I got back to my room a small Indian, probably Bihari, boy knocked on my door while I was reading ‘Ask and It is Given’, presenting yummy steamed masala-ish vegetables and plain rice — simple but excellent — after lunch I was craving caffeine — so I decided to go get a coffee at the nearby shop Buckstars which I’d never sampled my first time in Bir — on the way, I ran into Pema Jinpa on his motorcyle, presumably looking for me and Namgyal had told me before lunch that he’d come looking for me earlier — I got on his motorcycle for the short short ride to the coffee shop — and I had perhaps my first good coffee in India while talking with PJ about his recent marriage. Our talk was fairly short, he may have been on break from work. Not much seems to have changed for the people I know here; it makes me reflect on how most people’s lives are relatively uneventful compared to mine, and how I often seem to be on a very different rhythm, a different wave-structure life pattern, than most — I’m wondering whether dinner is ready or not — and I think I’ll go check —

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