Story by Refresh News
If you end up in Nepal, of course you also go hiking, in the Himalayas and so on. In addition to breathtaking landscapes and various animals, you will find sleepy villages with even sleepier villagers. In one of these villages we meet Om Prasad Gurung, a honey hunter. The honey that he and his colleagues harvest or hunt there is something special. It’s the sweetest drug in the world. The busy bees that are responsible for the sticky high visit not only normal flowers, but also the flowers of the rhododendron plant. And it is poisonous, but harmless and intoxicating in small amounts. This intoxication is caused by the substance grayanotoxin, a neurotoxin.
A perilous harvest
It is harvested twice a year by death-defying men, the Gurung people, who abseil down 100-meter-high cliffs or climb down long bamboo ladders to defy the world’s largest honey bee. The Nepalese are hanging on the abyss with only scanty protection. Big fires under the nests are said to calm the bees, while long poles are used to knock down the honeycomb from the rock faces. Hard work, but good money. Money that the honey hunters from the rural areas depend on. Locals use the hard-won candy to relax and treat joint pain. In Korea and China, honey is advertised as a sexual enhancer. And Europeans just want to get high. In the larger cities of Nepal you, especially as a tourist, are constantly being offered „special honey for good price“, for 30 euros a glass and filled with normal honey. But if you want to try the real honey, you either need the right contacts or you have to travel to the areas where the honey is harvested.
Stylishly packaged in a plastic bottle
So we made our way to the Annapurna region. Of course, we had heard of the so-called “Magic Honey” before. It’s on everyone’s lips at the moment. So we annoyed our guide from the beginning and finally with success. After a few days he introduced us to Om Prasad Gurung, a beekeeper of a different kind. He proudly told us that he would be happy to sell us the honey cheaper, because he really likes Germans. In fact, just a month before us, an entire camera team from Germany was there to help with the harvest. In Kathmandu we then learn that we are probably following in the footsteps of Germany’s favorite chaos, Joko and Klaas. At the last “Duel around the World” both jesters were out and about in Nepal to help the honey hunters and paint honey sandwiches. In the article you can actually see a man who looks confusingly like our good Om Prasad Gurung.
In any case, after iron-hard haggling, we agreed with our new favorite beekeeper on the equivalent of 75 euros for a liter of the special honey. Stylishly packaged in a plastic bottle.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself
Om Prasad Gurung advised us not to take more than two spoonfuls at a time. In fact, one sleeps better and lasts longer during the forced marches on some mountain slopes. But you can’t really speak of a drug with two spoons. But where does the honey end and where does the magic begin? That was what we had to find out. So I sacrificed myself. We sacrificed ourselves. For science. For Zeitjung. For you.
The subjects for the experiment were quickly assembled. Six brave fellows, including myself. Pretty quickly they agreed to do the “Joko”. Good Herr Winterscheidt took seven spoons. One would think there would have been objections, perhaps a more circumspect mind in the group realizing that two and seven spoonfuls are worlds apart. Unfortunately, that was not the case, otherwise we would have been spared a lot.
All in blue and yellow
Even the taste of the honey is something very special, somehow smoky. It smells faintly of alcohol and it burns your throat a bit when you swallow it. Still pretty tasty. The effect was not long in coming. First I got hot. My forehead felt feverish and I grinned for no reason. A few minutes later came dizziness. Climbing stairs became an absolute challenge. Then the symptoms subsided and I had about half an hour of rest. But suddenly my whole body tingled and I only saw everything in yellow and blue. Running was no longer an option. Remember that scene in „Wolf of Wall Street“ when Leonardo DiCaprio tries to reach his white Ferrari? I have never understood this passage as well as I did this evening.
Only by supporting each other did we all make it to bed safely. Once there, laughter attacks and painful moans alternated with each other. It feels like a herd of cows polka dancing on my head. Of course the talks were the best. My personal highlights follow:
"Dude I don’t know why but I can’t stop laughing. And the crappy ceiling isn’t even funny.“
“My skin tingles and my heart is a little campfire that warms from the inside. But now it gets cold and then warm again and then cold again. Everything looks like a Van Gogh painting.”
“Boy I swear there was an elephant! .. Yet! Wow, wait, I think I’m going to throw up.“
50 percent of the test participants vomited and were laughed at by the other 50 percent. Not out of glee, of course, the magic of the honey was to blame! In the end, everyone curled up in their beds and concentrated on moving as little as possible. But everyone slept well.
Joko, you simulant
With a probability bordering on certainty, it can be said that Joko didn’t take seven spoons. He just romped around and had to laugh a bit. The scoundrel was having a good time. We are not. Well, television magic. Having gotten smarter from the experience, a few days later we are satisfied with four spoons per nose. And that was a good thing. This time the feeling is more reminiscent of grass. The feeling of warmth is the same, but this time the good mood was almost palpable.
What do we learn from this? – TV is over-the-top and drugs are bad but can be pretty tasty.
Image source: (c) Benjamin Merkle