at the far end of the picture is the cook fire, where our lady made us tea!
Before I describe the earth shattering experience of tasting the Best Milk Tea Ever, one must first have a proper understanding of what Milk Tea is.
Upon observation, Milk Tea to Nepal seems to be what Chai is to India. I don't know if the 2 drinks are similar, or which came first, and since never tasting Chai I cannot attest to its goodness, but I can say, with great confidence, that Milk Tea is one of the best things I have ever tasted. Ever.
Milk Tea is a staple in every Nepali household, or at least was in every Nepali home we visited. It is also served in every restaurant we visited. Which was great for me, because drinking it became my hobby of choice.
How to make milk tea: The tea used in such an adventure is Black Tea, from Nepal. It is boiled with about half parts water and milk, with spices, like ginger and or lemon grass, added to taste. Also, it has an incredible amount of sugar in it. You make it in a saucepan on a stove top, or over top a fire. It is tricky for us North American noobies to
Our Team Dining Room
This is where we enjoyed our delicious grub!!
no boil the milk over. Very hard.
We tasted a LOT of Milk Tea in Nepal. Like I said, every house had it, and every restaurant, which means that every time we visited a house (or very nearly to every time) we were served it, and every chance we had to eat out, Milk Tea would always accompany our order. It is just so dam good.
Certainly, and to this my teammates will attest, that the best Milk Tea Award has to go to a lovely lady in the Dialekt District of Nepal. This lady is the Hotel owners wife, and faithfully served us Milk Tea and Chipatis every morning that we were there.
For some reason her Milk Tea surpassed all others. Maybe it was the quality of the ginger, or the lemon grass, or some other secret ingredient she added. Maybe it was the setting; every morning we would awake in a cold, dark basement (in the "hotel"), climb up a rickety ladder, and find ourselves on the threshold that led out to a dirt road. The cook fire was located just to the left of the door, so we would stop there and get
The Bus of Death
Panic Zone. PANIC ZONE.
tea, then take 3 steps down the road, turn and...
We were smacked with a view of the himalayan foot hills that ran, with descending rice patties, to the valley floors far below. Whatever it was it made the tea DAM good. By the third morning it seemed we were all racing to down our scalding first glass, just so we could have seconds. And throughout the day we would always be wondering if she would make it for us in the afternoon.
I even began to come up with a plan to kidnap her and smuggle her to Norway. Then I realized she came with 5 children, and her husband might be really mad. Also, my suitcase wasn't big enough.
Best Milk Tea Ever.
I should say a note about the 9 hour ride that took us close to the village. We got on a bus, that didn't have much business being a bus (although this one was NOT equiped with a flashing buddha, thank GOD). 3 of us were on a bench seat that was built for 2, which meant that my hip was
On a 1 way, mud road, a traffic jam that our huge bus of death navigated around.
ground into a metal arm rest for 9 hours. I also had to contend with a lady sitting on my shoulder (please see previous blog entry to understand how Nepali people conduct their personal space on busses. aka they have no personal space on busses).
The ride was INCREDIBLEY bumpy, because 7 out of the 9 hours were spent on a dirt road, that had no business being a road. It was ok though, until we came upon a traffic jam of trucks. They jammed because the dirt road had turned to mud that was a foot deep. When our bus hit it we began to spin 4 out of our 6 wheels, then began to fishtail, and all of a sudden the edge of the mountain "road" was rushing towards us, and the edges of mountain usually lead to ...nothing... and this was no exception. I mayyy have freaked out slightly.
We all piled off the bus and the baggage dudes sprinkled what looked like rice along the mud track, in, what was I can only assume, an attempt to give more traction. It worked, a little. But the feeling of seeing
3 Hour Hike
We had to hike for 3 hours after busing for 9 to get into the village. It was a LONG day.
the bus, which your bags (which contain your passport) are strapped to, carreen up a mountain side, fishtailing the whole way, and headed toward a traffic jam of trucks....that feeling is terrifying. I may have become hysterical. Just slightly. There may have been expletives that escaped my lips. They may have been at a high volume.
But the driver eventually got passed the mud field and we were able to get back on the bus. This did not help the hysteria. Not one part of me wanted to get back on the bus of doom.
But I did.
And the Milk Tea made it worth it
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