Entering Bhutan, Druk Yul: The kingdom of Thunder Dragon
Bhutan - What have you heard? I bet it would be GNH, Himalaya, Buddhism or the spicy Chili peppers. Still there is this quite mystical image of the country worldwide. Entering the gate from Jaigaon I felt being in the most special place I have ever been. The kingdom of Thunder dragon, but it was 30 degrees hell yeah. I entered this paradise through Phu(e)ntsholing, a border town, city,... I don't know what to call it. In Belgium it would be a town, but in Bhutan it defintely is considered a city with a population around 27,600 people.
This place is the shopping hub of Bhutan. People drive three to four hours from Thimpu through the mountains just for shopping. Since India is literally next doors the trade is flowing and the best price for literally everything you get in Phuentsholing, or rather Jaigaon. So I too got excited and bought my very first Kira. Back then I was so amazed to see everybody walking around in Gho and Kira, even though it was weekend people dressed up in the national dress.
That feeling of comfort is all thanks to the incredible hospitality and kindness of the Bhutanese people. They won't even allow me to carry my own shopping bags. Or backpack. Or basically anything. If you are looking for a real gentle man, go to Bhutan. Don't worry though, I am still not planning on getting married in order to get a residence permit in the country! Even though the Bhutanese cuisine is almost convincing enough to do so. I just can't get enough. Momo's with ezay, ema-, kewa-, shamu datsi. Hmmmmm. I'll write a blogpost as an ode to Bhutanese food another time.
Luckily I never get tired of rice because that's what they eat three times a day, every day. If possible with their favorite vegetable, chili. Yes it does get served as an actual vegetable. Anyways, after a weekend of good food, relaxing and saying goodbye to the hot weather I hopped on a bus to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. If you already get motion sickness in Europe I seriously advise you to take a chill pill before starting a long trip here. For hours I felt like vomitting which I simply tried to ignore because of the unbelievable views. Worked partly. Now I'm all the way up! Literally, I live at an altitude of 2,334m.
I was more than glad I arrived to see my new home and roommates. I live with Deki, Choki and Yeshey, locals who own a small restaurant. This means there's always people hanging around and Druk 11000 or Druk lager to be served. My favourite Bhutanese beer. It comes in huge bottles of 650cl and contains 8 percentage of alcohol, haha! You should taste this guys. Belgium has a real good concurrent when it comes to beer, I'm warning y'all. I'll go and get one right now!
Tama Jey Gay
PS; I just said see you soon but "jey" also means Penis is Dzongkha.