By Peter Klika
This Nepali gentleman was singing a beautiful tune on his handmade fiddle while our rickety bus was stopped halfway to Kathmandu. I tried to respectfully slip 20 rupees in his pocket, but he gently refused.
A Nepali passenger took me aside: “He like sing. You pay with smile.”
So I paid with a smile.
It’s easy to get cynical about people constantly asking for money when you’re traveling.
But not everybody wants your money, and sometimes a smile is more than enough.
For Further Reading:
“Searching for Shangri-La” by Melinda Liu, an article about Peter Klika’s joint expedition in search of the “real” Shangdi-La.
Lost Horizon by James Hilton. “[A] magical and well-loved classic. Following a plane crash, Conway, a British consul; his deputy; a missionary; and an American financier find themselves in the enigmatic snow-capped mountains of uncharted Tibet. Here they discover a seemingly perfect hidden community where they are welcomed with gracious hospitality. Intrigued by its mystery, the travelers set about discovering the secret hidden at the shimmering heart of Shangri-La.”