The kids are back in school today and the nest is feeling empty. Yeshi never knows what to do with himself in these moments – he’s used to being part of a herd.
When he was very little and his parents were busy, sometimes he was tethered to a central pillar inside the family home. This trick was supposed to prevent him from getting into harm’s way, but as there was always a brother or sister roped in alongside him chaos was never far away.
Later, when he was school age, he chose to work alongside family members and their herd of yaks and sheep instead. During summertime he helped to move the family’s livestock from one pasture to the next, but in winter these beasts were rested as the ground froze. They were shepherded into the ground floor of Yeshi’s home, emanating a kind of under-floor heating for the family who lived above.
Winter was the off-season. When the rivers froze over, this spawned a myriad of games. Yeshi would take off with his brothers, sisters, and other village kids to play on the ice. They would skim rocks over the surface, and when they were hungry they would suck on it like ice cream. As for snowballs, you do not want to square up to Yeshi, who is a crack shot.
Yeshi’s brother Nyima, who now works alongside us at the restaurant, is probably fifteen years older than him (no one’s really sure as dates of birth are not recorded). Growing up, Nyima did a lot of lifting and carrying him and taking him out to play.
But the other kids in the village were as much family as Yeshi’s true siblings. When they were kicking about together during the daytime he would often stop for lunch at a neighbour’s house instead of his own – whichever had the biggest fire going. Every house boasts a central hearth where hands can be warmed and tea is on constant boil.
Come the evening, Yeshi would roll back home and present ripped clothes and shoes to his dad for darning. His father has excellent tailoring skills, and in our home Yeshi is the one the kids turn to when socks have holes.
When the house feels quiet, we fill the time and space with tea. You’re welcome to do the same at Taste Tibet with us this week – our chai is perfect for days like these. Here are our opening hours for the week ahead:
Wednesday – Friday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Our menu is out now – check it! Come by for hot food and food for the freezer including family-sized boxes of Famous Chicken Curry. We also have good stocks of chilli oil and pickled mooli radish. And don’t forget our chocolate tsampa truffles – they are the perfect mate for a cup of hot, spiced tea.
Looking forward to seeing you all,
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Weds – Fri: 5-9.30pm
Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318