In Bhutan in the back seat of a Santa Fe SUV, our bodies gently swayed from side to side, kneaded by road bumps. “Massage roads,” is what Tashi, our Wind Horse driver, called the roads with potholes, switchbacks, steep drop-offs and slippage—essentially most roads in the country. The scenery was so spectacular it took us awhile to notice what was hanging right in front of us.
Three charms dangled from the rear-view mirror. A photo of Ngawang Namgyal, the man who united Bhutan. A blue-square pouch tied with an orange string to provide travel protection. And a small wooden phallus banging against the windshield with every bump. “Don’t ask about that one,” said Namgyel, our guide.
“How risqué,” you’re probably thinking. Not so fast. [Read more…]