What do you do after you declare victory over life? You go to a hot stone bath. Following the trek up to Tiger’s Nest and beyond (see Finding Happiness: Tiger’s Nest (Bhutan Day 5)), my left knee was sore. The remedy was rest and relaxation. This wasn’t a spa at a resort, nor was it in a commercial building (see New Star Spa Shanghai: It’s a Lounge Without the Flight). It was part of a family house in a remote part of town.
Before the bath we had butter tea, an interesting concoction. It was relaxing following a long day of trekking.
I was a little trepidatious when I entered the room with the baths. It looked like a scene out of Saw. I imagined the lights being cut and some nefarious game being played by the man with the hot stones. Perhaps I have seen one too many scary movies.
Instead of having a freak-out, I relaxed and entered the bath. The water was warm and soothing. When it began to cool, the man would open the board on the outside and place hot stones in the water. It reminded me of the hookah man coming around with fresh coals.
After a few refills, I was refreshed and ready to go.
I didn’t know that I would be eating dinner here as well. It really could be a scene from a horror movie. Instead, it was the best dinner of the trip.
Chili Cheese: Besides beef momo (see Finding Happiness: Bhutan Day 2) chili cheese is my favorite Bhutanese dish. Add chili to the chili cheese on top of rice and you have a meal that should never end.
Spinach Cheese: Bhutanese cheese is like high-quality nacho cheese. I am not talking about the kind from the ballpark either.
If that wasn’t enough there were plenty of other dishes including egg and pork.
You’re a Kid!
I love spicy chilis. Bhutan has a pico like salad with chilis that will make you sweat.
At the guesthouse, there was a strange fellow who claimed to be from Barcelona but spoke with a British, Irish, and Australian accent simultaneously. He said he did not like chili which drew a gasp from the locals. One remarked that if someone from Bhutan goes to a small village and says no to chili, they will be heckled with the line, “You’re a kid!” I dared the Spaniard who we all suspected to be a spy, to eat some chili. He refused. And the heckling began.
After dinner, we had shots of arak, toasting in the way we had previously learned (see Finding Penis (Happiness): Bhutan Day 4).
Tiger’s Nest was victory over life. The spa was victory over stress. The food was victory over hunger, for the time being.