28 December 2007

World Peace Pagoda

I have time for one more post.

Since the boozy white revelers are already transforming lakeside Pokhara into a cheap, tropical cheap thrill extravaganza for New Year's, I have decided to throw caution to the wolves and embark guideless on my Annapurna trek tomorrow. I ought to be back in around 20 days, but I can't say for sure. No doubt, all of you, my friends, have subscribed to my blog in your RSS readers, which you check religiously.

Today, I walked up to the World Peace Pagoda overlooking the city. The views were quite nice, though a bit obscured by fog. Above Pokhara, the most famous of the dozens of white mountains that are visible is Machupuchere, or something like that. It looks like a giant, snow-dusted pyramid. It's also sacred and therefore has never been climbed. I will not be the first to violate this taboo. The pagoda was built by, guess who, the Japanese under the auspices of a monk of the Nichirenju (sp?) sect of Buddhism who died in 1985 at the age of 101. One of his last students, a nice British lady, noticed my prone body collapsed in the shadows of the nearby temple, and asked if I wanted a bed. We got to chatting, and she ended up telling me I could stay at the pagoda if I liked, as long as I didn't mind waking up at 4:30 am for prayers. I'm pretty sure I would mind that, but her offer has piqued my interest, so I will be seriously considering it (free accommodation, Buddhist experience, fantastic views, gardening--why not?).

And that's the news from Lake Phewa, where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are all above-average.

1 comment:

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