Magic Shoes From Nepal
Part of an ongoing essay
“Hello my friend! Allow me please to make you magic shoes for your trip home!” Om Mani Karki was his name. He joyfully told me that his friends call him Om and that I of course was one of his dear friends. So Om it was. Easy to remember easy to pronounce. I was staying at Om’s hotel in Naudanda, Nepal. At the base of the Annapurna range of foothills on the edge of the majestic Himalayan peaks, Om’s hotel was a cinder block building overlooking the town and had an awesome view of the deep freshwater lake that was the focal point of the town. In my view it was the proximity to some of the highest mountain peaks in the world that was focal to Naudanda but the locals were very fond of their lake.
Om knew that I was beginning my trip home and he also knew of my fondness for one of the local delicacies-hashish. In fact I was under its influence at the moment Om walked into my room. “Magic Shoes! Magic Shoes! Please let me make you some magic shoes so you may enjoy a bit of Naudanda when you return to your country.” And there it was. Om explained to me in great detail how he had many times in the past secured an ounce or so of hashish under the insole of one or another of his esteemed guests here at his cinder block Taj Mahal and off they went on their merry way.
And that’s how it was that I was sitting in a taxi driven by fierce looking turbaned men, in one of the most populated cities in the world,dressed like a castaway banker from the 70’s with an ounce or so of hashish secured under the insole of my Nike high top sneakers. Had I been able to see into the future I would have recognized the idiocy of everything about this scene. Unfortunately I was a lot of things but clairvoyant was not one of them. So as the taxi came to an abrupt stop in front of the Bombay Airport I grabbed my backpack-allowed my drivers to rob me and stepped out into what would become one ofmany not so wise decisions in my life
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