It's me. I'm back.
I think holidays are just like people's best invention. Whoever thought that a lazybum like me could get excited about going for a loooooong walk (uphill, too, I might add) just in order to sit by some river?
Or that a person who rarely gets hungry, like me, could devour pizza, mo-mos, lasagne, humus and pita bread and still be hungry afterwards?
Whoever would have believed that a person like me, normally shy and reserved, to the point of stand-offishness, would have gotten along so well with a group of people I barely know?
In fact, I even discovered that two people in my traveling party read (and not just Sidney Sheldon or John Grisham either) they had read Sylvia Plath and JD Salinger and we had a long discussion about the Bell Jar.
Then there was a yummy (and I mean absolutely del-ect-able) Israeli guy who we spotted with his rather homely girlfriend (humph!). He was so pretty, with curly brown hair and pink cheeks which matched the pink of the cashmere stole he wore around his neck (and it didn't look gay!). We stalked him, I'm ashamed to add, mercilessly, collapsing into giggles everytime he passed!
And the shopping! Old Manali was one big flea market, with tons of clothes and interesting little things called hash crushers (which make rolling a spliff easier apparently, with spikes that crush the tobacco and hash for you inside the device). I picked up a wooden one for K, which has a separate chamber to store your uncrushed hash. The things these hippies think of!
Imagine if you will, vistas of mountains everywhere you look. If you strain your eyes, in the distance you can make out a few snowcapped peaks against the pine covered ranges in front of you. There's a nip in the air, you can fill the chill as you inhale and as you walk you can practically feel your cheeks taking on the rosy hue of the mountain dwellers around you who call out greeting as you pass.
That was Manali.