11 August (Fri): Views while shopping in the rain

How many people leave their Visa cards in ATM machines in this country? Evidently, there’s little incentive to remember your card if it’s just waiting peacefully for you to come back.

The views on the way to the upper market are quite beautiful, to my mind: an apt reward for shopping in the rain.

Meal preparation in Bhutan is an all-family affair. The garlic cloves are tiny and difficult to peel. The onions (all red) have a layer of mold beneath their skin, and have to be peeled and then washed carefully. Because they are fresh and young, they are remarkably potent: the onion prep station almost always brings tears to the eyes. This is the land of the nightshade—tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant (brinjal imported from India)—these are the foods we eat most days. Greens are much harder to come by, with the exception of cabbage (which Zoë finds slimy).

Cooking is particularly exciting when the electricity goes out—then we’re particularly grateful for the gas burners and the headlamps.