somewhere between where i was and where i am now!
28.08.2010 - 29.08.2010
Yesterday was a bit of a n epic actually. We got up early to go to the Dali Lama teaching but Gwen was still ill so we took it steady, which was nice actually as the sun was boiling hot (fir the first time since i arrived) so to go anywhere in a hurry was not a good idea. We had breakfast at the Green Cafe, followed by a good 10 dispute about who knew the best way to get there and some almost helpful directions and we finally arrived. We met up with Moran and Yale en route so we were by now a group of 5. Arriving at the temple was very busy and we managed to get to sit somewhere and it was close to the barrier so we could see hime walk in. Which we did, actually he moved at some speed and if someone had not said to look up i mayt well have missed him - typical! We then found another spot in the shade and we tried to get the assortment of radios we had between us to work, however to no avail,so we listened in Tibetan, and then Korean. Actually it was odd as he started with the heart sutre and this is the one we had done everyday in the retreat so we kind of understood it, and we had a giggle at the Korean trying to get her words out in some parts of it. Anyway it was hot and we were not really felling the atmosphere so we did a very western thing - and we all went for coffee!!!! Giancarlo had cake, and by some good fortune was in the mood for sharing - yipee. Although his macciato and my capuccino left a little to be desired. Gwen by now looking more green. After this we had a look in the shops and Yale and i manages to get a really good deal on a singing bowl each. Actually i had been after one for days but could not get a good price, but buying together we did well. (we wont go into the fact i spent my delhi budget and would not be eating today or writing this now if i had not this morning found the 500 i stashed and then thought i had lost earlier this week)
we went up to the top of the village and by now it was lunch and I (rather selfishly) wanted to go back to Tibetan kitchen to have more special paneer, but the others were really keen anyway as they had not been yet. At this point it all too much for gwen who went home!We managed to run into Lotan (another Tusita graduate) and by now there were 5 of us for lunch. Moran and i spent an age selecting the seats (one cannot be too careless when choosing which to tale to sit at in the restaurant - and no i did not do my usual and get everyone to move after we have sat down!) nice and by the window. I orderd my chef special paneer, and this time some sizzling veg. (kind of like when you get a chicken / beef thingy and they serve it on a hot platter that is still cooking to food, although these veg are coated in crispy batter - yummy!) Mine came first and while we wait for the others to arrive Lotan had by now commented on the fact that the sizzlers always look really good but sometimes can be a bit smoky. No sooner has he spoken when not realizing i am getting a plate to decant my food onto bit by bit i decide to add chilly sauce to the platter. Now on the platter between the heat and the veg are some big cabbage leaves, only i somehow miss all of them and dump a big spoon of chilly sauce(which is poky enough) straight onto the still sizzling platter. The result was something to be beheld. You know that horrible choky, cut the back of the throat sensation when burning chilles? well that was achieved almost instantanously, and poor Lotan by now had moved to the other side of the restaurant such was his coughing. After him it was Giancarlo, then Moran, then the table behind Lotan, the table to the left of us,anopther table nearby. After it had all dies down about 10mins later it must have wafted as the rest of the other side of the floor we were on were also dying, as were anyone trying to go up or down the stairs! sadly the person least affected yt the smoke was me alhtough i was having my own little fit as i could not stop laughing - it was after all an accident. What kind of an idiot does something lkike that???answeres on a postcard then please>\
So Giancarlo, Lotan and i go back to the temple for the afternoon teaching we manage to squeeze in upstairs and i can nearly see his holiness. The teaching was very good all about the self cherishing mind and that we must learn to be compassionate to others and really backing up what we had dne on the course. It ran over slightly as i got up to leave some men with big guns were clearing the path as HH was leaving, so i stayed on for a mo. We moved up and stood at the back of the templeand right in front of mt the monks were starting to leave and he was to come out of the door. As he emerges everyone put thier hands together and bows but at this point he is only a few feet from me, so although i am supposed to stay bowed i cannot help but to look up and as i do he is looking right at me and he smiles!!!!!well check that out for a leaving pressie!
So at this point ia m late (no surprise there) so i head off to the room quickly to shower and pack. Giancarlo has ver kindly agreed to ferry my bag up to the bus as its a way from our room and by now almost full. In fact as i get my stuff together it takes both Giancarlo and Lotan the best part of 10mins pushing and shoving to get it all in. We go up to the green cafe and there waiting are Gwen and James. So after a last minute slice of lemon curd cake we head off, and i have my own little leaving party (minus Gwen) who is still not good. We find the bus and with my backpack somewhat safely stowed underneath, (actually i was worried but the boot was locked externally, in fact so well on arrival the poor bloke had to go under the florr boards of the bus to get the stuff out as the lock had jammed!) i say farewell to my new friends, hopping to see them again someday and i chill out to some tunes while the usual commotion to get out the bus depot ensues. The littel Tibetan Girl who came and sat next to me asked me if we can swap seats if she is unwell as she gets travel sick (i have booked the wiondow seat) so not wanting to be pucked on i agree. By the time we have left the bus depot and not more then 20mins into the journey she has fled to another free seat further back and on her mobile phone talking interspersed with putting her head out the window to throw up! (no wonder they hose all the buses down)As its mountain roads the journey is windey adn for the first few hours of the trip this poor girl is so ill, on the other side of the bus just in front of me there is a tibetan monk with his head out of the window also, only unlike the girl he is not so quiet. SO i turn my stero up full belt and leave them to it. We stop for a pee and another one get off the bus puking - i am guessing the tibetans dont travel well!!!!!!
There are a couple of pit stops en route,some in actually cafe some on the side of the road, but is you got to go........actually i swear by eating salted crisps along the way, replaces lost salt i sweat and stops you peeing as much! By now another tibetan guy is next to me only likes a lot of room so i get no rest, until after one stop he lmoves to the bakc of the bus whic gives me a couple hours intermittent sleep before at the next spot he comes back as its too bumpy! Roads in india are great - where there are some, the rest of the time you are along what can only be described as a dirt track which in a four wheel drive you would still be feeling the bumps but in a big bus with no suspension every now and again you just get catapulted up in the air!!!!! After he comes back i manage another couple hours of bits of sleep and at the next stop i decide to try out the back of the bus!there is no one on the back seat so i have all 5 to myself, which is nice as the windows are open, people by now have stopped hurling out of them so the air is cool. Ilay on my back and get comfy however the roads are better but every now and again we hit a bump and seriously i must leave the seat by a good foot if not more and the first time i landed i thought i had broken my neck and my ribs!!!!!!apart from the safety aspect seat belts would actually be quite good at keeping you in the same spot! Two more massive bumps and i try the left side, then the right, and some sleep is had but you get the idea! eventually i discover the best position is nearly up right with my legs over the seat in front (there is noone in that one either) where i can wedge myself in!!!! After a few more hours of some sleep it is light so i give my face a freshen up and watch the day arrive.
By tthe time we get there i think most of the bus has not slept and some are very tired and grumpy, and the boot wont open and as we are a coachload of people some tourists the usual mele of rickshaw and taxi drivers have appeared to take or stuff - somewhat stumped as the boot wont open and they cannot get their hands on it yet!!!!!!
i ask the Tibetan girl where the Potala is as that is where i have been told is good so she takes me there as she is going past and to the rickshaw hubbles disappointment my bag is retrieved and i am actually going only about 20yards so i unsurprisingly don't need a rickshaw!!!!!! I am booking a taxi to the airport as i ahve to be there at 5am i dont want to be in a rickshaw on my own at that time of day!!!
Anyhew - hotel is ok for price and i found the money i thought i lost so i can eat more than i thought today!!!! will be out of hear byt this time tomorrow but the whole day i trvel back through 2 time zones so that ought to be fun!!!!!!