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  • Ideas from abroad germinate in curious ways. Many teashop walls, for example, are decorated with posters that depict a caricatured, cartoonish version of the West. There's often an English language quote to boot - misspelled, generally. The contrast to impoverished Nepalese life is stark and uncomfortable. Not every house in North America sits beside a river bursting with dolphins and penguins. But some do.

    Tourists peek through the teashop curtain but rarely enter. They wear expensive winter clothing and tough-soled hiking boots, and carry their bucket lists zippered in a pocket over their heart. Behind the curtain, dressed in cotton layers and flip flops, porters trade rupees for rice wine and dream of the land that lies beyond the high passes. The river bursting with dolphins and penguins.

    To like is to culture a fantasy, to imbue something with the power of your wants and needs and dreams and desires while keeping it just far enough away to prevent it from becoming real. To like is to be a tourist, to take mindlessly, needlessly. To look without feeling. To hide behind the protection of a screen.

    To avoid being vulnerable.

    Liking is not like accepting, sinking roots into, becoming part of. Loving.

    Things are often different than how they appear.

    Is a thing of beauty a joy foreever?
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