When Yeshi was still just my boyfriend and a life together here in the UK was merely a faraway notion, he was living as a refugee in India and I used to joke that I was his “rich namma“. Namma is the Tibetan word for wife. I learned it from this book by the same name, which was written by an English woman who had married a Tibetan man and made it work. I devoured Namma as part of what felt like important research: if someone else had been brave enough to shack up with a one-time Tibetan nomad I needed to read and learn.
But why “rich”? Because those were the days before the pound collapsed and the little that I had went a long way in India. Of course, once Yeshi had joined me in the UK we had to tighten our belts. He complained – teased! – that I had tricked him, as over here I wasn’t rich at all.
And yet – let’s not deal in limited definitions. Taste Tibet has made us wildly rich, if you don’t apply the usual renderings. Everyone knows that restaurants are no way to make money. But Taste Tibet has been a lifestyle choice that’s given us the space to provide meaningful employment, to feed and nourish our community, to indulge our creativity, to work together as a family, and to watch Rick Astley perform “Never Gonna Give You Up” live on the Pyramid Stage along the way. Buddhists say that the aim of human life is happiness, not the accumulation of wealth, and by this definition we are prosperous indeed.
Not that money is bad, per se. You just shouldn’t fixate on it or it will get in the way of the ultimate goal. Money is useful, and if you have enough of it you should share it around and then happiness is the result. Scientific studies bear this out. The World Happiness Report (a publication supported by research from the Oxford University Wellbeing Research Centre, for one) chronicles levels of happiness among two groups of people who were given the same amount of cash: the group who shared the money with others were reported to be happier than those who spent it on themselves.
We take off after this weekend for our final run of summer festivals. We do enjoy the nomadic life, and since the goal is happy, so we take this path! During July and August you can find us at Cambridge Folk Festival, Cropredy, Green Man and Victorious – we hope to see you in the fields.
Oxford: the restaurant will be CLOSED UNTIL FRIDAY 8th SEPTEMBER, so make sure you come and see us this week for one last summer hurrah. Please also help us to empty the hard-working TT freezers so that they too can take a break over August. Thank you!
We are open all the usual hours this week, as follows:
Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Thursday – Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
While we’re away, make sure to sign up to the TT newsletter (just scroll to the bottom of this page) so that you can be the first to hear our news and score big deals at the restaurant. Keeping in touch is our favourite thing – thank you for taking this ride with us.
See you soon!
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Thurs – Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318