Friday, March 4, 2011

Pokhara hailstorm

Pokhara hailstorm –
people seek shelter, poor cow
jumps this way and that

Pam and I get caught in a hailstorm in Pokhara. All traffic stops. Trucks, taxis, jeepnies and bikes pull up under the branches of huge trees that line the road. We take shelter in a cafe, order chai and watch a group of people, including one woman with a baby, stand against a red, green and white striped tree trunk, children crouching under a cement ping pong table on the sidewalk. One confused cow, pelted by hail and accustomed to being herded by rocks thrown at her rump, jumps this way and that. The hail cuts leaves and flowers from trees and the streets fill waist deep with freezing, swirling brown water. When the hail stops after half an hour, the ground is white. Women scoop the ice into buckets while young men fling hail at each other.

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