Wednesday, July 25 - This post is a complete draft of shorthand notes —oops hit “publish” — SKIP IT AND READ BETTER BELOW!
8 hour trip to Yushu, nice Tibetan boy and sick mom, singer in the backseat, small town noodles and stares, terrifying detour....terrible hotel, changed to slightly better
Thursday, July 26
Yushu is large city compared to Ganzi. Very dusty and lots of construction. Garbage trucks play “It’s a small world” like US ice cream trucks.
hotel search, more stares, people taking photo, nice hotel, walk to end of town for hitchhike to Batang. Picked up by Doje and invited to family gathering and spent the day with them. Wonderful food, new friends, and lots of learning and sharing!!! Yay!
Discussing politics, govt hiding fake food and pesticides, not giving info
surprised i am Buddhist and how many Christians force their faith and their way is right.
Business owner owns the land and has tents with furniture set up. Families rent the tents. Traditional and new.
Many questions to me about begin Buddhist and how I became Buddhist, Buddhism and science, how govt lies about population statistics and Tibet is overrrun with chinese. Schools only teach in mandarin so, children dont’ learn their native language. Like knowing English because it’s very helpful for jobs and enjoy learning. Family had 6-8 adult sons/daughters, who all had 1-2 children. All there with spouses.
Friday, July 27
Woke up around 2am unable to breath regularly while sleeping. I thought I I would have adjusted to altitude by now or I would’ve had Dr. Mail Rx to Dartsendo/Kangding. I even began counting my breaths: lengthening my inhales and shortening my exhales so my body would’t
Sunday, July 29
The past two days were “a wash”. I had a seriously serious acute case of Acute Mountain Sickness, that was—if symptoms are any gauge—was deteriorating into HAPE (see previous post). So Friday was spent in bed, recovering on oxygen. Saturday I spent the morning on and off the O2 while packing for the return to Kandze/Ganzi. With the help of Tserin and his wonderful staff at Susan Liuili Hotel in Yushu, I shipped a few extra items that were weighing my pack down. I brought my travel tea set, but haven’t been using it. I’m not wearing my shorts in Kham anymore, after learning that Tibetan culture is very conservative and the women don’t show their legs (I always do my best to respect the culture of which I am a guest). And then there are the rocks... yeah, yeah, yeah, rocks. I’ve had an affinity for rocks since I was wee; probably picked it up from Dad: all our time spelunking and exploring and me gaining from him awe of and intrigue in nature. One of the (odd? Nah!) things I do when I am exploring a place that is special to me, is pick up a rock that jumps out at me as significant and symbolic of the place. I should begin labeling them, because there are now too many for me to recall where I picked up each one, except a handful I hold with sentiment because they came from sacred ground of spiritual locations. Rocks and clothing and other accoutrements only cost 40Y ($6 US) to ship back to Chengdu!
Aside: ya’ll need to get your sh** together in ‘Merikuh, and get Rump out of office! The dollar keeps
dropping in value compared to the freaking CNY! It’s dropped 10% in one month! What the heck
is going on over there! Now if I transfer any $$ home I am losing big-time: $10 for every $100... ughh!!!
Saturday continued auspicious enough, after getting my belongings shipped off to Chengdu. I had met a girl from Poland my first morning in Yushu, and after hearing her stories of hitchhiking and travels around China, I decided to start hitching. I already knew it would be safe — it’s China afterall, not ‘Merikuh — especially after hearing from numerous people about their hitching experiences. It was more a matter of timing and convenience: Would it be easy to gain a seat? Would the arrival town be one I desired? How long would I have to wait in high-altitude sun for a ride? Therefore, I took a taxi to the east end of town (after first agreeing on a price; no more will I be ripped-off by some unscrupulous taxi drivers —not all of them, though!) to stand in a prime spot for people departing Yushu, heading south and east. I waited less than 4 minutes and was picked up by a van filled with a triplet of Hans, Tibetan driver, Tibetan monk, and nice Tibetan man (you’ll see photos soon!). The monk and I immediately began chatting—if you can call my handful of Tibetan words and signing, as a conversation, but it worked. I’ve found that it is easy to win over Khampas and Tibetans when they notice my mala bracelets and necklace, signifying Buddhism. The conversation begins with curiousity about the malas, and leads toward where I am from and where I am going. When I describe my perambulation of Kham, from Dartsendo to Yushu and back, using the word “gompa”, to explain my pilgrimage from monastery to monastery and mountain to mountain, I gain an immediate nod of approval and a new friend!
It’s Sunday, July 29. I am Day 14 into my summer break. School begins on August 13, which gives me exactly 15 full days before I need to go to sleep early for school the next day! Originally I planned to enjoy a 3-week long vaca, returning Aug. 6. But now, I think to myself:
Why return so early? What for? What will I do for a week? Nothing! I have nothing to do in Cdu
except look for a new apartment! So why go back early? Why not make the most of this vaca
and extend it for as long as possible??!! Why not return August 10th? I don’t have to unwind
from my vaca. I don’t have to relax. All I have to do is unpack and maybe dust!