The Eternal Becoming and the Endless Flux
Trip Start Mar 21, 2005
351Trip End Ongoing
The Japanese throws a camera overboard. Stunned, the others ask: "why did you do that?" The Japanese replies, "In Japan, we have many cameras."
The American then takes out his wallet and throws hundreds of dollars into the water. Everyone gasps. "In America, we have lots of money. What's another dollar?"
The Tibetan then throws the Chinese overboard. The American and Japanese look at each other then ask frantically: "what did you do that for!?!" The Tibetan calmly replies,
"In Tibet, we have too many Chinese."
Every so often an official convoy of mint Toyota Landcruisers passes through Gyeltang, accompanied by a fleet of police vehicles. Where they go, I do not know, but I do know that they are missing out on a place with character and some good fried dumplings from the "no name" dumpling hut around the corner.
In the dumpling hut a little Tibetan boy with his pet baby rabbit play among the customers.
A few blocks away, an elephant man begs on the corner. His energy is positive.
Towards the foothills and the trashed horse stadium, a grave is upturned, skull and bones exposed to the air. Why? Earlier, as the crowds surrounded the horse festival, the yak races stole the show, as none of the domesticated animals wanted to be domestic anymore. Yaks bucked their owners, charged the crowd (including me), and tried to go as slow as possible. Don't the yaks know: no trophy, no big meal of fresh hay?
To the north, the young local monks drink Red Bull and snort snuff. It's ok to get tanked on Red Bull and snuff, but not alcohol and cigarettes. In jest, I tell them the drink should be renamed Red Yak in their honor. They laugh, as big brown puffs of snuff snort from their noses.
Back in town, the drinking and singing continues, as I sing Bob Marley and G. Love in the local restaurant. Others sing their favorite local songs to rounds of ganbei.
Passing by, Tibetans wear their English-lettered shirts and hats. One little girl sported a hat saying "I love Jesus." Maybe she wasn't Buddhist...probably too young to tell. Another older woman wore a shirt that said: "Cannabis is great. Cannabis helps you get through the day" and so on.
Che Guevara is a popular man in China. Many of the local cafes have his picture on the wall. I sit in the cafe with the cafe owner, learning a Chinese card game called 2, 3, 5, 7 Big. Outside, the monsoon has finally reached town.
On TV, Guns 'N' Roses' "November Rain" video plays along with the Atomic Babes. I'm up on my Wimbeldon and NBA action too. Thanks to Chinese TV, I'm catching up on my knowledge of military hardware and kung-fu action flicks, dubbed into Mandarin from Cantonese.
Hopefully by now, the skull and bones have been re-buried, the Landcruiser convoy has eaten some fried dumplings, and the Tibetan monks have found their "middle way".
Regards to Schopenhauer.