Chameleon Chapter 18 - Momo Lady

Dharamkot, India.  Day 11 of my trip.  I was eating breakfast at the guesthouse next to mine and using the wifi.  After a few minutes, I came to my senses, put my phone down, and smiled at the woman across from me.  We get to chatting.  She was heading to the meditation center for the 9:30 guided session that I had been hoping to go to.  She knew the way.  Elisa from Argentina who was living in Denmark but staying in India to get her Yoga Teaching Certificate.  She just had this energy about her.  And we clicked immediately.  We walked to meditation together and the conversation was easy and sincere.  After meditation, we spent the rest of the day together.  We went to lunch in town and had the most delicious momos of our lives at a restaurant that we weren’t trying to find.  We went to yoga after that and the next day we hiked up 4 ½ hours to see the Himalayas up close. 

One of my favorite memories was sharing a meal of daal and rice from one of the huts at the top of the hike.  After our meal, we split a pack of cookies.  We were sharing the space with a couple - a woman from Germany and a guy from the Netherlands.  We offered them cookies, they each accepted one and then we proceeded to polish off the rest of the pack.  The Dutch guy decided to also get cookies.  He offered us one each.  He made a point to say just one each.  He told us after, in between eye rolls from his partner, that he was slightly taken aback by witnessing us finishing the entire package of cookies in one sitting and he didn’t want us to try and do the same to his.  His partner was shaking her head at him and told the story about when she first met his grandmother.  She was offered tea and just one biscuit.  She said it was made clear to her that no other biscuits would be offered and she should not be asking.  We had to laugh.  We hadn’t even noticed that there would be anything strange about demolishing the (small) package of cookies.  Just two Americans being gluttonous. 

Elisa has a disarming openness, humor, kindness, and lack of filter.  During the two days we spent together, she also responded to any teenager request to take a selfie by asking if she could also take one with her phone – catching them off guard, humanizing the interaction and delighting the kids all at the same time.  It was amazing.  She is amazing.  We ate momos again that night at the same place, even though we were exhausted after the hike.  I was leaving the next morning on my stupid walk.  I promised I would try to meet up with her in Copenhagen after her teacher training.  And I did.