Our First Night in Bhutan
“My friend has invited us to a dinner tonight with Swedish Musicians”
Were some of the first words that came out of our friend’s mouth when we arrived in Bhutan. We were still trying to take it all in. Bhutan, working with animals, hanging out with friends, breathtaking views.
We can’t say that our first night in Bhutan was authentically Bhutanese, but it was definitely a night that most visitors don’t ever get to experience.
Our friend Toni lives in Bhutan and has made some friends during her time there. Passang is one of them. He is a friendly and generous man, always making sure that we had a great time, and so he really wanted us to join him for a Bhutanese dinner with the Swedish musicians.
We really had no idea what to expect, we joked that hopefully we would be meeting ABBA, and thinking we might be having dinner with some Swedish old timers.
We left Toni’s place and walked to a landmark that we all knew to meet Passang. The four of us were the first to arrive at the restaurant. We chose our private room and were immediately offered drinks (the Bhutanese way) before we even sat down. The beer flowed from then on.
One thing you should know before heading to Bhutan. If you are a drinker, prepare to drink.
We chatted for a while munching on chips, and Cody and I joked again about the Swedish band possibly being Refused, one of Cody’s favorite bands from Sweden.
A few minutes later, Four men walked into the room. We were introduced to Johan Westman, a music teacher living in Bhutan, Jesper Garold, and Johan Melin, from the band Fontän and Simon Ohlsson from the band Silverbullit.
We all hit it off immediately. We enjoyed a great Bhutanese meal together and spoke mostly of music, hockey, and travel all night. There was a lot of laughter and everyone connected very well. We learned that Jesper toured with Lykke Li, and has recorded violin with At the Gates, another band that Cody really likes.
We learned that Jesper Garold, Johan Melin, and Simon Ohlsson were invited to Bhutan to record traditional Bhutanese music, and based on what we’ve heard, they are doing a great job of it.
They were very cool and so down to earth. We had a great time together; so much so, that after dinner we relocated to a bar that offered us a private room. They all showed up with their instruments and gave us a little sample of their version of Bhutanese music. At one point in the evening, (after quite a few beers) I even joined in and sang several songs with them until the sun came up.
Our first night in Bhutan was phenomenal. The days ahead definitely had some competition.