Searching for the face of Bhutan

I wish lived in a different, less politically-correct age, so I could write like Norman Lewis, who wrote that “The mulatta girls of Havana were seen to flaunt the biggest posteriors and the narrowest waists in the world”.
I’d write that in this queue, waiting to check in to the flight to Paro, there are Indians – plump, handsome little men doing business in the perfume trade. And there are Asians: Louis Vuitton-toting Japanese, Chinese from Shenzen.  And then there are those whose faces are blurred by geography: a group of people who look like they’ve been mashed between the two super-countries of India and China.
Dark skin and full lips of an Asian face, but straight narrow noses and small eyes, the eyes of a mountain race who were born closer to the sun than the rest of us.
The check-in counter is down the back of Bangkok airport, along with Uzbekistan and Israeli air, but the airport is eerily deserted. Amongst the luggage, I count 15 flat-screen tvs and six clear plastic carry bags stuffed with duvets and a large dog, yelping his distress from his cage.
I can hear other Australians behind me, some serious cameras slung nonchalantly over shoulders, but at 5.10am, they’re already talking gear. 

Bhutan, I'm ready.


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