Hi! How are you?
I’m fine. The people mentioned below have a lot to do with that. It is my pleasure to introduce them to you. I think it will be your pleasure to meet them. I wish you were here. I’m sure they would like to meet you, too!
Thank you for reading, and thank you for clicking the backlinks.
Be well. Love, Tenzin
p.s. As always, if you find the reading at all enjoyable, please — it literally takes only seconds — click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you!
Of the many wonders there are to experience in Kathmandu, my best experiences are reunions with friends. It is a miracle to find so many incredible people in one small neighborhood!
Some of this miracle has to do with location. Within Nepal, and especially within the Boudha Stupa neighborhood, there is a different kind of tourist than those you’ll find drinking in flower print bathing suits on the beach in Cancun. These tourists, and especially the ex-patriots here, are more likely to be looking for temples than bars — although many of these folks can be found in both.
You also find a different type of native resident than you will in almost any other country. There is a strong happy-family feeling between Nepali natives that carries over somewhat into their treatment of foreigners.
There was nearly a half-year of initial total lockdown in Kathmandu. Several additional months of mandated isolation followed later in the year. The only people most Nepali citizens got to spend any time with were the folks that lived with them. Foreigners got an allowance that locals didn’t.
Buddhism’s main thing is compassion. The Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery/Temple, also known as “The White Gompa,” put that compassion into action. They provided free buffet meals for trapped tourists living in hotel rooms without kitchens. These meals were served every day at the Utpala Cafe. The authorities understood the situation and allowed it to happen. We foreigners were all just as grateful to legally leave our rooms and enjoy the company of fellow English speakers as we were for the food. The opportunity probably prevented some degree of mental illness in many folks.
The whole world was suffering similar circumstances at the time but strangers in a strange land had additional difficulties to face. We were far from family, friends, familiar surroundings, and had no ability to speak the local language. Personal culture shock had to be rapidly sublimated in order to deal with a much more severe and universal shock. The free flowing money that makes tourists so popular in tourist areas was dammed up. We had limited banking opportunities and the financial caution that is always caused by an unpredictable future. There was a limited availability of food and other necessities. A military veteran among us commented that it felt similar, in a less severe way of course, to a combat situation.
The bad parts of this situation (beside the disease itself and the world-wide political/economic manipulation) are obvious. The good part is that folks caught in such a web get to know each other a lot faster than they ordinarily would. Bonds form, trusts are earned, mutual respects flower, and interdependencies grow. Relationships often run deeper in traumatic situations than they would in normal life.
A few folks showed colors I didn’t want to see, so I stopped looking in their direction. Others acted so humanely that they seemed more deified than human at times. I still look in their directions as often as possible.
All the people mentioned here own a great humility as well as an incredible presence. They will likely be embarrassed by these descriptions. But I wouldn’t be the same person without their friendship and much of this book probably wouldn’t exist without their influence. You are pretty special yourself, so I’m guessing you will appreciate knowing these other wonderful people. With apologies to them for any discomfort that seeing themselves in print might cause, here they are.
I refer to Romash Shrestha as Saint Romash. He works as an attorney and Visa specialist. He seems to know everything and everybody. Romash deals all day with confused and sometimes angry tourists as well as with many government bureaucrats. You might have been able to piss Gandhi off but you can’t piss off Romash. Besides having a superhuman quantity of patience, he is also endowed with a very generous spirit. Along with our friend Zak, who you will meet in a minute, Romash started and was the main ingredient in a successful grass roots project to feed the suddenly unemployed and hungry people of this area during the long lockdowns.
There are a lot of people that put on a false smile throughout their business day because it is part of the job. Romash smiles because of the joy he gets from constantly helping people. He makes a decent living that he very much deserves while doing it.
Zachary Aldridge is the son of two college professors from upstate New York. It shows. He is possibly the most intelligent, literate, 25-year-old person I have ever met. In spite of his age, Zak’s scholastic ability and background make him one of the best in the business at editing college theses and applications as well as advising on all sorts of scholastic paperwork and other education related matters. Zak is also a fairly handsome and personable gentleman. He no doubt could be getting more ass than a toilet seat but prefers to channel his energies into spiritual and scholastic pursuits. I have to guess that the right woman will eventually add yet another dimension to Zak’s already beautiful relationship with the world.
Believe it or not there are two of him! His twin brother Sam, still living in New York, shares Zak’s scholastic abilities and is a partner in the business.
But the most amazing part of Zak is not his intellect. He also brings to the world a big compassionate heart, dignity, a firmly fixed moral compass, a strong connection to the bigger picture, a good sense of humor, and plain common sense. These qualities each show the pronounced strength of a hundred years practice and seem like they should be sitting in a much, much, older person. I come up with some good ideas every now and then. Zak makes good ideas happen.
If you have read this far in the book you already know who Thinley Wangmo Lama is. Besides being co-manager of the all-around best hotel in Boudha, The Pema Boutique Hotel on Phulbari Street, she is also an adventuress, the inventor of and driving force behind an ambitious project to improve women’s health, status, rights, and justice in her country, and my volunteer tech adviser. She is my favorite make-believe granddaughter as well as being one of my favorite real friends. When talking about someone they admire, people often use the expression “they are beautiful inside and out.” That expression has never been more accurately used than when it is spoken about Miss Wangmo. That happens often. She has many admirers. So much constructive strength, transparent honesty, productive diligence, and gentle kindness are rarely found together within a single person. She is a joy and benefit to everything she comes into contact with.
Sjoerd is a 67 year old gentleman from Holland. He is a walking smile. I guess I would be too if I had a 19-year-old lover. But Sjoerd isn’t being his blessed self because he is having so much fun. He is having so much fun because he is being his blessed self. That self exudes so much positive energy and good intention that no matter where Sjoerd goes, the people there hope for his speedy return. Zach and I have both referred to Sjoerd as “Almost Jesus.”
Ylli and Dawa have been bopping back and forth together between Pokhara and Kathmandu for years.
Ylenia (“Ylli”) is a 37-year-old Sicilian woman. She has the energy and exuberance of a 7-year-old and can continuously produce joy in everyone around her. If you had to be stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life with only one other person, Ylli would be a good choice. Her love of and concern for the happiness of her fellow humans touches everyone around her. It turned my 70th birthday from a boring just-another-day into a day I will remember for lifetimes to come. Ylenia is a bouncing bundle of instantly accessible undiluted gigantic happiness that glows onto the world from a tiny 100 pound frame.
Dawa is a 30-year-old gentleman from a small village in Nepal who works as a tour guide for foreign trekkers hiking the Himalayas. Dawa is as mellow as a monk, owns the pure smile of a child, and has the physical appearance of Bob Marley if he had stolen Tarzan’s body. Mr. Dawa is also a giant in every non-physical sense of the word “human.” It is easy to see why Illy loves him and why they make such a good couple.
There is much greatness in Nepal. There are great centers of learning that specialize in psychology, philosophy, kindness, and spirituality. There are incredible rhinos, tigers, elephants, rivers, and lakes. Nepal contains several of the greatest World Heritage Landmarks and sacred locations including the birthplace of the historical Buddha. It houses Earth’s undisputed champion of mountain ranges.
But it is without question the people, both locals and ex-patriots, that are Nepal’s greatest gift to the world.
About the Author
Doug Ten Rose has hitchhiked around America for 40 years, encountering:
- Tibetan Lamas
- Native American wise people
- Rock stars
- An all-lesbian rock band playing a concert for the deaf
- The modern day Robin Hood
- And a whole lot more…
These and many other amazing characters are described in Fearless Puppy on American Road.
“Ten” was also rescued and adopted by a temple full of Monks and Nuns in Southeast Asia. He stayed there for a half-year, although not studying Buddhism (certainly not in any conventional sense!).
Read more about that in his second offering: Reincarnation Through Common Sense.
What else is there to say?
Well, a lot.
Here’s a snippet so you can dip your toes in the water — it’s from the foreword of Fearless Puppy:
“Why would a 15 year old boy with a New York City native’s knowledge of transportation systems shun both public and private transport and opt to spend the next 35 years hitchhiking throughout North America?
Why would anyone bypass the relative ease and safety of bus, train, or a car of his own and open himself to all manner of possible disaster by braving the whims of fate and the moods of passersby? I’ll tell you why.
I have attended 8 different colleges and universities.
I’ve learned more in other people’s cars.”
INTERVIEWS & PODCASTS
Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story — and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!