When around the bus park in Pokhara be mindful of the potential to be taken advantage of by the roadside shops and stalls. After asking if a coffee was a possibility at one shop we were responded to with delight.
The clinking of glasses, the familiar rattle of a coffee can lid and boiling of a kettle could be heard. All sounds that indicated a gustatorial delight was on the way.
I asked about the cost when the excited shopkeeper came back to the front of his stall. He dodged the question, repeatedly.
“Don’t worry, good price.” was all we got. Soon after we were told that the price for two coffees was 800 Rupees. Twice to three times that of the price charged by high end restaurants and hotels. I protested and told them to not worry about making the coffees. My words were met with with disregard and more than ignored.
After some protestations with their insisting on making the coffees we settled on 300 Rupees for the two. This was still an inflated price for instant coffee.
Fresh pastries were being sold up and down the street. These smelt so good that we couldn’t refuse. Two croissants and two apple danishes set us back 200 Rupees, which put the cost of the coffees into perspective.
We continued through this area as we went to visit the Jangchub Choeling Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery on the north eastern edge of Pokhara.
We found a driver who agreed to take us there at a rather inflated price. The driver dropped us off in a lane near the entrance. We walked by a tightly packed collection of market stalls, all selling similar items of local craft.
After making our way out of the tiny gate.
We were met with desperate people living on little more than nothing. One girl was particularly aggressive and lost me when she began to spit at us with her venomous words.
We made our way through a very small opening in the front gate into the courtyard of Jangchub Choeling Gompa. The confusion and disharmony of the outside world faded away almost instantly. There was a respectful peace in the air.
The flags moved gently in the wind and the few people in the courtyard moved about in quite prayer. Our visit to Jangchub Choeling Gompa was timed to be there for the afternoon chanting at 3:00pm, however, the Monks were all required to travel to Kathmandu for a special ceremony.