May 22, 2013: Active Day 17, Lukla

View of the pea soup from our lodge. The runway is out there somewhere. Photo credit: Kevin Cordova

View of the pea soup from our lodge. The runway is out there somewhere.
Photo credit: Kevin Cordova

Alcohol is on the short list of things besides planes and the sound of vomit that will interfere with my sleep. I slept maybe a couple of hours and then was wide awake at first light. Well, whatever light was able to penetrate the pea soup fog blanketing the town, anyway. No one else was up and it was past our call time, so I figured it was safe to assume our super-early flight had been cancelled. I went out in the hallway to the only power outlet I'd seen since Namche, plugged in my long dead phone and connected to the intermittent WiFi connection that was actually working at that hour. The others got up and passed me in the hallway yet still I sat on the stairs, deleting emails, while my phone charged. Over an hour later I joined everyone downstairs for a basic breakfast. We had ordered light the day before deliberately so they wouldn't have to fix anything elaborate at the early hour before our flight. We received the official word that our flight was cancelled. Good, I'd rather spend the extra day in the mountains than in Kathmandu anyway. A little while later we walked down the street to get more food. Ele, Amanda and I got some of the best hot chocolate on earth. There was VH1 on TV at this place and once again I was reminded of how out of touch I'd been with the mainstream. When we cashed out I was able to get more rupees, and paid the 10% fee. It was a much more subdued day. We barely saw Magic Mike who seemed content to read up in their room. In the common room I chatted with a British fellow who was up trekking on his own with a guide, asking him what he thought about the trails he took and whether he'd return. He seemed burned out on Nepal and wanted to see other countries. North and South America were both on his list. I on the other hand was already scheming to return, thinking I could spend a year traveling the tiny country and it still wouldn't be enough. Now that my phone was alive again, I went back upstairs, put my headphones in and settled in bed for a snooze. I woke up when DK came in to ask what I wanted for lunch and barely knew where I was when I opened my eyes. I fumbled around clumsily for my clock mumbling, "Mmmmmfff, how long was I out?" He told me the time and I abandoned my search for the clock. I half-consciously picked one of the food choices he named, and when he walked out, decided that had been sleeping long enough and got up. With my wits returning, I became conscious of the fact that I had been dancing around barefoot in a bar the night before. I decided to try for another shower. I stepped in and got the bottom half of me washed (the most important part) when the water quit. I don't mean the hot water quit, I mean water stopped coming out of the shower altogether. I didn't have enough ambition to try to find someone to fix it, and called it good enough. There was an Indian family downstairs, a man and his young daughter had just finished their Himalaya trek also. He seemed super proud of her, as well he should be. I asked where they were from and he said New York. I raised an eyebrow since his accent was somewhat heavy. He said he was originally from India. "Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different." - Penny Lane, Almost Famous There was no question as to what we wanted for dinner. More of that divine chicken and dal bhat. It was just as good the second time around. We put more music on. K-Fed pointed out a spiderish looking bug that would move in time to the music. We knew it wasn't a coincidence when the bug changed its rhythm to match the next song. Both of us tried to get a video, Kevin's turned out best: Meanwhile, Dovile tried to get the Indian family up to dance with her. Bibak was always a willing partner, and in her he had finally met his match. Dovile had even less inhibition than he did, sometimes he would just watch her in stunned silence, but usually they moved together well. Bibak wanted to include his pal DK, and pulled him up on the dance floor with them. DK continued his joke from Phakding and he brought his limp wrist up to his chest as if to say "me??" and then pranced out on the dance floor to join them for a bit. The rest of us tried to hang as long as we could, but ended up turning in early in favor of more sleep.

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