Nepali and their trekker clients at mealtimes and other communal amusements

An interesting dynamic when travelling in the Khumbu with support staff is that the clients order their food from their guides who then bring it to them; only once the clients are finished eating do the Nepali all eat communally, both Inn staff, guides, and porters. Frequently the foreigners all leave shortly after eating, leaving the locals to eat and chat and enjoy each other’s company. 

Since I’m travelling alone - and I’m more interested in talking to Nepali people than other Westerners (no offence intended but I live surrounded by Westerners but rarely get to socialise at length with Sherpa people!) I make a habit of staying around with a book and reading. After a few nights, as it became clear I had a genuine interest in getting to know my guide Tashi and Bikram my porter (this last being difficult as he doesn’t speak English), more and more I would get invited into the occasional part of the Nepali conversation and now after he eats and has a bit of a chat with the other Nepali he comes over and he tells me more about his people and the personalities that I meet that he knows from his travels with other clients.

I have to say, I’ve visited dozens of countries, probably something like a third of all of them. The Nepali and Turkish people take joint prize for being the most friendly, kind, trusting and generally delightful to be around.

I am also struck by how at least half of the trekkers that I meet really spend all their time talking with other trekkers or one another and very little interacting with their Nepali hosts (so far the Swiss groups I have come across are the least sociable with others, whether trekkers or Nepali, which is sad for me as I really love my adopted home). The photo below shows a group of Swiss people near the end of a dinner, who have been persuaded to stack bottles of wine and beer consumed into towers. They certainly had fun - as did we watching them!

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