[Americans overheard on a trek in Nepal]
by Daniel Weinshenker
– Oh my feet!
– That’s what Buddhism is, really.
– How do you say “blister” in Nepali?
– I love my Charmin (pronounced, by a Bostoner as “Shamen”)
– My Shamen, I brought 10 rolls – can’t live without it.
– Look! Look at the view!
– Yeah, Buddhism is all about minimalism, all about peace.
– Be here now.
– Which one’s Everest?
– Have you met Krakauer?
– Isn’t he a Brit? Ask Lauren, she’s a Brit.
– I don’t know, really.
– It’s all about not suffering.
– I need moleskin; my feet are killing me.
– Can you believe the porters? In sandals even!
– Yeah, and the belly; it comes from the belly.
– And lotus flowers. Don’t forget that.
– Lotus flowers mean peace…or something like that. So do olive branches and doves.
– Yeah, be here now.
– Where’s Everest? Can we see it yet?
– Have you met that famous guy, Hillary?
– He’s dead.
– No, you mean Mallory.
– What’s the difference?
– It’s all about minimalism, you know, only have what you need.
– I just can’t live without my Shamen. And my dreamcatcher. Very key.
– I know what you mean. I have a mini dreamcatcher earrings and also a special one for airplane flights.
– What about Karma? That’s very essential.
– That’s Hindu, not Buddhist.
– Yeah, still, Karma is up there. Very important.
– See, what you do is put a ring of moleskin and then two triangles – foot heaven!
– Absolutely no suffering.
– Yeah, and be here now.
– It doesn’t mean you can’t have goals, though.
– Of course.
– Wait…is that Everest?
– Do Nepalese believe in moustaches?
– And Americans?
– Everest is wherever you want it to be.
– That’s very Buddhist!
– No, that’s Zen.
– Could someone pass the Shamen? I gotta go.
– I heard about this one monk who supposedly had been enlightened and always smiled.
– See, that’s all good energy coming from the belly.
– Yeah, well…turns out he had a brain tumor the size of a grapefruit.
– Does anyone have any Pepto? I think it’s the altitude.
– Now that’s all coming from the belly!
– I feel so bad for the Sherpas.
– Do Sherpas believe in pain?
– Don’t feel bad for them, they’re Buddhist
– Yeah, they’re Buddhist, remember – no suffering.