Was it twelve or one? I didn't know, I don't wear a watch and my vintage mobile was dead.
I was walking home along Lakeside - the tourist strip in Pokhara, Nepal.
The street lights had gone out hours ago - the power cuts had put paid to that.
Only the tacky neon signs of the hellish dance bars provided any sort of glow.
The trekking shops, bookshops, bars, and the last remaining Internet shops had all shuttered up, or is that down, for the night.
Mohammed, my Kashmiri jeweler friend had probably been in bed for hours; although he was worried about his eldest. She's got a bad chest infection and sits her SLC - School Leaving Certificate soon.
In the Standard Chartered Bank ATM booth two streets kids and a dog were curled up asleep.
Where you insert your bankcard they had placed a piece of cardboard over the flashing yellow light.
Up the street I could see the light of the "Quick Fast Foods Center"
It was still open or rather it is always open.
The "Quick Fast Food Center" is a few planks on top of four bicycle wheels, with glass on three sides and folded out ghee tincans for a roof.
On a steel burner was a perfectly crafted mound of bright orange lentils. The centre hollowed out where the lentils liquidize into dahl.
This was surrounded by deep fried samosas, onion bhajees and sticky pointy sweets.
During the day the vendor moves his cart up and down our street.
You know when he's coming because he rings a bell.
I don't think he's taken to me.
Even when I read the Nepali signs on the side of his cart that doesn't seem to impress him.
He beckoned me to sit down - bas, bas, dhai!
Under the cart he keeps a number of blue and red plastic stools.
I was soon joined by four barmen as they sat down and relaxed I could see their shoulders shrink down.
Two of them were giggling.
They told me they always get good tips from Japanese women.
One winked at me rather conspiratorially.
We were handed small chrome saucers of dahl, chickpeas, and crushed red onions.
The sweet smell of the dahl reminded me of being a child back in Glasgow and my mother's bright orange lentil soup, and how I used to get upset and stamp my feet when the big pot had finished.
"Why are you are always carrying a book?"
"I am learning about Nepal."
"Is it making any sense?"
"No not really."
In the middle of the street, under the pipal tree, three other barmen and a couple of cooks, still with their tall white chefs hats on, sat on the stone slabs of the chautara.
They were swinging their legs back and forward, joking and slapping each other on the back. No doubt glad another long day was over.
They flicked their cigarette butts into the gutter and ambled across to us and ordered dahl and a side order of samosas.
Our little gathering was turning into a convention for hospitality staff.
"Hey", asked one of the new guys, "are you not Fergoose, Rajiv's friend? He's always asking about you, and he's worried that he hadn't seen you for a couple of years."
That's why I prefer to be called Fergie over here.
I told him that my mother back in Scotland had been taken ill last year and died earlier this year.
"Yea," I replied, "she left us back in March."
Nepalese always say expired rather than died.
I can only think that's food that's past its sell by date.
We all fell silent.
Only the hiss of the carts hurricane lamp provided any sound.
Then from the shadows, just beyond the white glare of the lamp, came a voice:
"The circle is complete now. Your mother, for a short time, was only a guest on this earth. She's moved on."