Bhutan | Fun Facts

I really enjoyed traveling Bhutan, but there were several things that stood out, felt very out of place, or were just surprising and I thought this would make an interesting read.

Naming Things
The Bhutanese aren't very creative while naming things. Everything is Druk-something; they have the Druk Airport, Druk Beer, Druk Bank, Druk Hotel, and the list goes on. The other common name is Tashi. You'll find an equal number of Tashi-somethings there.

Escaping materialism but still expensive?
Being the Buddhist capital of the world, preaching to let go of the material world and all its enticements, ironically it's a very expensive nation to travel. The government sets the price to basic necessities - traveling from place A to B, the price of fruits and vegetables, etc, and it is far more expensive than you'd expect. For a foreigner it's even more so - a fixed rate of $200 USD applies to anyone visiting without an Indian passport.

Killing animals isn't okay, but eating is?
With pictures and quotes of preserving nature, trees and achieving zen, I expected everyone to be vegetarian. Ironically, Buddhism allows them to eat meat liberally, just not slaughter animals themselves.

So liquor is definitely banned, yes?
No. I expected liquor to be banned. It had to be! But, to my surprise not only is liquor not banned, it is easily available and is cheap.

And the music?
Everyone listens to two artists; John Mayer and all of Salman Khan's songs. An uncountable number of tour guides and taxi drivers have sang "Oh oh Jaane jaana", or "chal beta selfie le le re" in front of me. It was hilarious!

How do they know Hindi anyway?
The people are taught Dzongkha and English in school - not Hindi. But they all know Hindi because Indian soaps and movies are telecasted there. Everyone I asked told me they learnt Hindi from Bollywood!

Penis.. what?
Streets are very casually grafiti-ed with imagery of the phallus - the penis. These are not questioned against because a "mad saint" taught through unorthodox and very objectionable ways.

And how are they so stylish and 
The people in Thimphu that don't wear the national dress, the Gho, dress up very stylishly, and have great hairdos. There was this barber shop in Thimphu that had a sign outside that read something like this: "Think you're having a bad day/week/month? I great haircut is all you need!". I wish I had taken a photograph!

The cab drivers
There are female cabbies driving Altos. It surprised my subconscious mind every single time I saw one. I've never seen one in India!

Chillies and cheese
I ate Bhutanese dishes for dinner every day, which for an Indian vegetarian is difficult! All their dishes are spicy and are cooked in cheese gravy. You'll have no shortage of chillies, cheese, and potato the entire time you're there!

How do they pass their time?
They love playing archery. I have never seen so many middle-aged Asian men play a sport with so much passion! It's particularly funny because the

No one honks?
No one. It's banned to honk - making the people there very patient. They'll stop at every zebra crossing if there are pedestrians waiting to cross. There are no traffic lights, but "traffic men" at every center. Their hand signaling is hilarious! I wish I had taken a video of them.


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