“If you are not in the photo,” my guide said, “how will anyone know you were actually there.”
Jokhang Temple, simply one of the loveliest places on earth. Everywhere the same color palette: bright orange and yellow, the garnet red of the monk’s robes, and rich blues, especially the sky. The first of the Four Nobel Truths in Buddhism is life is suffering. I can assure you I “suffered” on this trip in the form of awful food, shoddy accommodations, and bathrooms that can only be described as “character building.” The concept of clean was completely relative.
On a banquette covered with Tibetan rugs, camera perched on a prayer table, I reclined, set the timer to reduce camera shake and clicked. It would be hard to say I “suffered” for this shot.
Buddha referred to his teachings as the Middle Way. With this hand sign, I have never, so elegantly, been directed the way.
On my trip, I didn’t encounter one American. I did, however, meet the following:
-The British great grandson of Sir Charles Bell, Tibetan scholar and intimate friend of the 13th Dalai Lama. He’s overviewed in Lonely Planet.
-The Australian “challenge designer” of the Survivor series. They just finished filming Survivor China.
- A dozen or so Chinese tourists who asked to have their picture taken with me (aren’t they supposed to take photos with the locals?).
The face of poverty? She delicately asked for money, I negotiated for a photo. Her expression seems so pained to me.
Finger puppets seem silly until you see sweetness like this. This little girl got “snowman.” I managed to unload two dozen during the trip.
Apparently, there is a new racket of boys posing as monks trying to get money out of people. My guide warned me. This, however, is a real monk.
I asked my guide to help me find the “best” prayer wheels. They pretty much look the same everywhere, but these were the least blackened by yak butter grease.
Monks at Sera Monastery during “debating,” philosophical issues I suppose, but it gets animated, almost comedy like.
Along the Southern Friendship Highway somewhere between Shigatse and Gyantse. The “cost” of this photo was a dozen or so crayons, markers, and colored pencils, but I got the shot. I wanted to hug and take her home. I’m kidding! About the hug part that is.
At a nomadic camp along the Southern Friendship Highway, the children pose for a picture. Many Tibetans are now wearing western clothes (read Chinese clothes, it is not like anyone is walking around in $200 7 for All Mankind jeans).
At Sera Monastery, the Monks during “debating” become quite intense with yelling and a bunch on hand slapping to make one’s point. Krplack!
I love how colorful their outfits are. Notice the plastics water bottle, it is filled with yak butter used in the monastery lamps.
This sweet nun graciously shows us around the nunnery. She was excited and a bit embarrassed to see the image of herself in my Nikon D80’s display.
A woman in cowboy hat, hawking fake turquoise jewelry, swings her prayer wheel. The women were so beautiful with wide, dark faces and rosy cheeks (that sun is intense!).