Some years ago, there was this Asian artifact boutique a few blocks from the Temple of the Jinn. It was there I acquired my Thai print t-shirts, which were supposedly all the rage on the streets of Bangkok and in fashionable juke joints in places like Jakarta and Tokyo. My favorite is this one that's an astrological chart with a crocodile on it.
It seemed for a while, Sabina, who wasn't my lifemate at the time, and I went there at least once a week. If for no other reason than to window shop. The proprietor was a neat cat to talk to. Unfortunately, the place didn't sell enough to pay rent on the space he was in. The last I heard, he was going to try and run an online business, but have yet to see anything about it.
There were other neat nick-knacks and patty-whacks there as well. This was where I got my prayer stones and paper lanterns. I got the gypsy a Hindu-style shrine there for her birthday. Shortly after my Sabina and I got involved, she bought a wooden window carving, saying it was for us and the residence we would one day share. These days, that carving hangs in the front window of the House of Owls and Bats.
By far, the neatest thing, well, besides those nifty t-shirts I acquired, was the loose-leaf Nepali black tea. It was rich and smokey, reminding me of lapsang souchong. In the period we patronized that boutique, Sabina and I got several bags of the stuff. Although, the only time I would brew it would be when it snowed. More to the point, when said snow would stick, as if to be contextually correct with a Himalayan vibe.
I live ten miles east of the Roof of the World, where the wind blows Tibetan. Like Morocco, our Kashmir is the land furthest west. Well, at least before the continent splits in half and water flips a coin by virtue of the forces of gravity to decide whether to flow toward the dawn or dusk.
It was before the first slivers of dawn that I was up with the hounds, wondering if the machine failure at the pellet plant was going to prevent me from having a stand there. As light slowly crept into the world, I was able to make out more than low-hanging clouds along the mountainsides. Outdoors, it was precipitating.
And the loose leaves of Nepali black tea found their way into my infuser for mourning tea. I put on the soundtrack by Jeff Beal and Nawang Khechong from that one heartrending Tibetan documentary, then the one Nawang Khechong album we have, as to be in the proper context. There were Buddhist prayer chants and Nepali folk music I could've played too, but I found myself in the mood for something else after the fist two albums. Johnny Clegg and Oliver Mtukudzi suddenly sounded rather good. An almost sense of defiance to the weather outdoors, which was so much more punk rock than punk rock.
I could pretend to be surprised at the sudden turn in meteorological events, but I remember where I live. The Roof of the World is but ten miles away and the here, in a place like Morocco, being the land furthest west, the wind often blows Tibetan. For half the year, it can be rather Himalayan around these parts.
It does seem I have the rest of my day free, which is okay, given the gig is somewhat outdoors. I figure on enjoying the fire, a book, and lots of tea, although saying I'm going to spend the day drinking-tea-would probably invite accusations of being a lame ass. One of my next infusions will be of Moroccan mint, or perhaps African rooibos whilst grooving to African music on a day with a Himalayan motif, but there are those who baselessly accuse me of being contrary.
I know, I laughed too...