Wandering around town yesterday, we randomly ran into two of the 21 other teachers from our school. Last Saturday, we saw five of them while shopping, then another two of our friends in the supermarket, and then another three friends at a cafe, where I met the Lama who presides over the youth center where we'd seen a movie our first night in Bhutan. It's safe to say there is a small-town vibe here. Bhutan has a gossipy culture befitting a society built around small communities; if you meet someone who has a single friend in common with someone you know, they probably know every intimate detail of your personal life already, especially your marital status. As a teacher who's been working here for a year told me, "be careful what you do, because if it's interesting, you'll be reading about it tomorrow on the front page of the Kuensel [a local paper]."
Thimphu is supposed to be an 80,000 person city. Where are most of these people? Why do we keep seeing the same 20 of them?