Thursday, May 27, 2010

Holy Thursday, Holy Cows

Our day off! Up a little later than the sun today and traveled to St John's in the Wilderness Anglican church. McLeod was a hill station when the English were here and this is the only church around. It is set in a pine forested area, absolutely typical Episcopal church of stone in a cross shape. It was the only structure in the area to survive an earthquake and lost most of it's windows, but the few that are left are Belgium design. Most impressive was the cemetery. Everyone born in Isle of Mann or some other English village was transported here with the military or government plus wives, succumbed to disease and died in Dharamsala, 1/2 way around the world.

Then a short hike, but action packed one! We saw a whole tribe (herd? flock? gaggle?) of Monkeys through the forest headed from one hill to the next. Moved too fast for a Kodak moment. Around the corner were some great cows who did not move fast at all.

I swear it was the same cows who showed up in McLeod as we waited for the Dahli Lama to arrive. Due at 2:30, the streets were packed along the route and we stood waiting in the sun for an hour and a quarter. It was the usual wild crowd: aging hippie men with Asian trophy wives, pierced hikers, groups (herds? flocks? gaggles?) or mid life women seeking enlightenment or husbands, red outfit, yellow outfit, red and yellow outfit monks, Tibetan shopkeepers in costume and the random cow who gets the right of way always. None of these folks had ever heard of the Midwestern 26 inches of personal space. Finally DL, in a closed and unmarked car, zoomed past. I may have gotten a picture if I blow it up. He moved faster than the monkeys.

We ate on the tree top - they built the restaurant around a tree and you enter at the base, go up 3 flights and the branches at the top come in through the awning over the table. Good food, too.

One last bit of excitement - they were filming a music video in McLeod. Not The Dalhi Lama sings Hits from "Hello Dalhi" (oh please - how long did you think I could resist that one?), but some cute girl lip singing something. Anyway 4 of us ambled down a street we were astonished was empty only to hear the director yell whatever "cut" is in Hindi and realize that 4 American were not the kind of foreground he wanted. Huh.

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