The Flashing of Deja Vu In The Thin Air
The cold bites my skin at night despite the beginning of summer. When the sun is out, it slowly provides comfort here to the living things… like a sweet mother holding her crying baby on her arm tightly. The temperature was slowly rising and we continued our trek when the sun started shining. As we trekked further, the landscape slowly changed. The thick forest slowly disappeared… less trees the higher we walked until it became tundra once we stepped into 4000m altitude zone. There are mainly rocks and small trees furnish the landscape of the tundra. I’ve been staying too long in low altitude while I was in Malaysia. My lung capacity probably became smaller. After passing by an army camp to register my trekking permit, I started to breath heavily and felt a bit dizzy during the climb. Luckily the effect was only for a few minutes. The altitude sickness has finally caught me slowly after passing 4000m… and the symptoms started to reveal itself in the zahir through the colour of my face.
While walking further, I passed by a familiar place, like I’ve seen before. It was snowing and the land is now covered by thin snow. I stopped a while, amazed not by its beauty, but amazed because I think I have seen this place before, not in this realm of space and time, but inside the realm of my dream… long time ago during my childhood days. I already forget the dream since it was long time ago but when I was walking in this grassy valley covered by thin snow while it was snowing gently, the distant memory seems to start flashing my mind like a series of thunder in the dark cloudy sky. It seems so similar… “Deja Vu is happening… now”, my heart whispered. The only difference is, I was young and alone in that dream, never tired and was running happily on the grassy path. Here in the realm of space and time, I was panting, my legs were tired, my muscles sored and I was accompanied by my 2 guides. This isnt the first time I experienced such thing. It has been a few times the image of my childhood dream became a reality when I was on the road. I wonder if this is some kind of sign, that the creator of everything that exists is trying to communicate with me in a strange language. I wonder why some of my childhood dreams repeat when Im living my life as a musafir… as a nomad.
After standing still like a piece of carving stone in the cold, I then kept walking, increasing my speed to catch up with my guides who were already a few meters ahead of me. The snow was drizzling gently along our way. It was amazing that I came across families living in the middle of nowhere here. They depend on solar for electricity and letting us in their shelter for a lunch stop… amazing family with amazing Bhutanese hospitality. We stopped about an hour having lunch and a little chit chat. It’s great to know that no one is really poor here in Bhutan, even nomads or people living deep in the high mountains. Despite the country’s low GDP which is only about USD2 billion, the king is so generous and careful, even the nomads who travel in the high mountains throughout the year earn good income. No one is really poor here, theres very small gap between the rich and the poor. If the weather turns harsh and people lose their yaks or crops destroyed, the government will pay compensation for each loss. People love their king here and there are a lot for governments around the world can learn from them.
It was drizzling gently until we reached our campsite which sits at about 4100m. Once I was done pitching my tent, thick dark clouds came in and heavy snow started pouring in, changing the whole landscape into total white in a split second. My tent became hard, it was freezing at night when the temperature dropped to about -10c for a few hours here… in the beginning of summer! But at least gonna take a day break here, taking a good rest and acclamatized before going to the highest point the day after, reaching high at 5000m above the sea level.