A Bhutanese Love Story

We were told that this is the ruins of the house of  a beautiful young Bhutanese girl named Galem.  This story takes place is the early to mid 1800’s.  At that time the Governors of the Dzongkhag ( the district ruled from the Dzong) were “all-powerful”.  This house is near the Punakha Dzong, and that is the location of this story as well.

Galem was a sweet girl and she fell in love with a young man named Singay who worked for the Governor of Punakha. 

Unfortunately the Governor noticed the beautiful Galem and claimed her as his own future bride  She demurred, but of course, eventaually the Governor noticed that the real problem seemed to be her interest in Singay.   So Singay was sent off to Gasa – at least week’s travel away.

The Governor’s pursuit of Galem continued, but she pined only for Singay.  Singay was tring to return, but having problems.  Galem’s parents pled with her, not wanting to lose their farm or house.  Not being able to take it anymore, but not able to bear being the xth wife of the old Goernor, Galem threw herself in the river and died. 

Singay finally made it back, just in time for the cremation of Galem.  He tried to fight his way to the bier, but the crematin grounds were thronged with mourners.  He had brought back a special thin-skinned walnut from Gasa.. he threw them in the air and people scattered trying to get them.  While they were distracted he threw himself on the bier and died.  And noone has wanted to live in the house Galem came from ever since.

True love in medieval Bhutan.  A popular story and most likely has some roots in truth.   Not sure I believe that is the house, though.  I don’t think that constuction would have lasted that long without maintenance.

Here’s a YouTube Video of the love song of Singay and Galem – very sweet.

Bhutanese Folk Tale – Friendship

You see this picture many places in Bhutan.  It is an important tale about team work or friendship.    The animals want fruit.  The bird plants the seed.  The rabbit fertilizes it, the monkey waters it, the elephant protects it as it grows.  The tree grows and the fruit ripens it.  To pick it also takes all of them.  I find it very sweet and inspiring.

FIRE ! Emergency !

Is this the way out?

So, what is wanted in an emergency.. AN ESCAPE ROUTE is a good choice.   So when the firm alarm went off at the motel in Toronto and I was heading to the lobby and found the fire doors closed,  this sign looked promising, don’t you think?

Well, I and 3 adults and 3 children ( 1 a newborn) all thought so and so we headed down the stairs.  It would probably help you at this time to know that the motel was above an Asian market.. so it (the Super8 Motel) started on the 4th floor of the building.   That is also the floor my story starts at… so down we went.  we went down 3, 2, 1 and oops, kept going..   We found ourselves about 1/2 floor below street level.   Entrance to the market on the right.. oops locked.  Up some stairs to the street on the left ..oops locked.  And two more doors.. to offices or something, you guess it , also LOCKED.  A trapped feeling ensued.

I went to the street side and called 911.. i could see the firetruck had already arrived up the street but I could not get their attention, so I WAS happy I went back for my phone  ( ah, yes, that is how I got seperated from my room mate).     Anyway I got pretty quickly to someone who could help and then I turned around and my compadres were quickly running for the door BACK UP.. I mean TOWARDS the  fire with small kids.. I shouted out to them and the door kicked closed behind them and now it was, you guessed it .. LOCKED.

WOW.. I was REALLY alone and TRAPPED..  Have I mentioned yet that I was in my pajamas?  Kind of adds to that silly situation feeling.   It took some explaining but after about 15 minutes I was rescued.  After about 10 minutes my phone contact was able to explain to the firemen where I was.. they came in a group of about 6 carrying axes and other frightening implements.. the glass door to the street was REALLY thick and we couldn’t hear each other even when shouting.  So my phone contact got their cheif to get mall security to let me out the other side.  He showed up and YELLED at me.. said I shouldn’t be there…. hmm.. reference the picture.

I walked through the mall and out the other side to find my friends who were happy to see me.. I had not realized they were calling me since I had been quite busy on the phone.  The family and children were OK too.. but ONLY because the fire was just smoke coming out of one of the room air conditioners and had been taken care of.. otherwise .. well, I don’t want to think about those tiny lungs and the nasty smoke, not a good combination.

I showed the firemen the door and they assured me that this motel was going to get LOTS of citations.. I just hope they follow up.  Neither the desk clerks or the mall security seemed to understand that Emergency EXITS need to EXIT.  They were much more concerned with the possibility of thieves coming IN.  I think they just put up this sign to be compliant to number of exits.   Other problems were that the desk clerks were untrained and fire doors that didn’t close properly .  I just hope they follow up.

It was our last night in Toronto anyway.. we were out of there at 6 am the next morning and back in Victoria by 4:00 pm local time.

Beaver Attack

Is there something wrong with our apple tree?

We have a house on a small lake in Washington State.   This spring we noticed our apple tree was not leafing out.

Yes .. definitely beaver teeth made those marks

On closer inspection… hmmm.. could be a beaver…. YES YES, a Beaver

Seems he had good access from the lake and the small branches of the apple tree are a BEAVER DELICACY.

Sorry , this tree is not going to be a survivor and the beaver never came back to finish it off.

I don’t think there were any winners this time around. Except maybe the gardening store when we buy something to replace it.