Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Facebook Posts" from my Trip -- Part IV (last part)

Everyone will feel neglected if we don't go personally to visit them. Now we're visiting Hlabae (sister #2). She and her husband live in a tent, even in the winter. Total massive respect. #family #Tibetansaretough

Even in a tent, you still have an altar

Inside Hlabae's tent

The view from above Hlabae and her two neighbor's tents on the mountain. Bringing the herds together at night makes it easier to keep them safe from wolves and thieves.

Achi Hlabae gave me a bowl of the most delicious joma, ever. She harvested it herself while watching the yaks. Joma is? A nitrogen fixing rhizome. A root. Nutty/beany at the same time. #bestTibetanfoodever #family

A hail storm added to the whiteness. Where is the turn off onto a -not- road that will get us safely to Damdentso's?

Passing by a nomad winter house (temporary house) guarded (of course) by a Tibetan mastiff

Herding the yaks home with the approaching storm

Our next stop was Damdentso's house. As the kids showed Karjam and I their year end exam papers it struck me how amazing it must be for a parent who is illiterate, but wanted to study more (like Damdentso), to see her kids becoming literate in written Tibetan, Chinese, and English. #literacy #family

Karjam with Damdentso's oldest and youngest-- the middle child (a boy) has become a monk (at 10 years old)

We went to the monastery store and got prayer flags, both as gifts for my family and to hang on Ama Dunmajhet's gate and the front of her house. It looks great. #Buddhism

Enjoying coffee by the yak chip fire. So glad I brought my aeropress. #aeropress #bestcoffeeever

Frozen morning in Zhyibuk's van from Ahwencang to Maqu turned into a glorious warm shower lasting a ridiculously long time.

Today was the day of restaurants--big lunch with Tserangtso and her boyfriend in a Chinese restaurant in Maqu and fancy schmancy Tibetan restaurant for dinner with Jabu, his family, and Jangloju in Hezou.

Ahyangtso went with me to do errands. I don't know what impressed her the most. Certainly the escalator was surprising. She wanted to push the cart at the grocery (I only really needed it for my bags) but then ran into my heels repeatedly. And she ate constantly. Banana, juice, pomelo, ice cream.

Karjam took me to the train station and waited on the platform until the train started to pull away, at which point he walked next to my window. I cried. Of course. I will miss him so much.

I laid down to sleep but the four parents and three kids in my compartment were so noisy I couldn't. Saw a very (very very) sad woman and asked her what was going on. I listened to her and held her hands as she cried and smiled and relayed a story that as she stopped sobbing became easier to understand, of a wonderful father who had meant the world to her. #grieving #mourning

The cost of the airplane ticket is worth it. #loudcellphonegames #screamingchildren #shoutingadults #spitting #secondhandsmoke #eatingchickenfeet #speedoftravel

My birthday. Fever, come, gone, come, gone, come, gone. Nausea. Headache, come and come and come. But I'm pretty sure I've had worse. #30hoursonthetrain #trainrideformybirthday

The boat will be less relaxing than I had anticipated--sharing the 4 bed room with a mother, paternal aunt, and daughter, all Joseon-jok (Korean-Chinese). Like a Korean mother the mother doesn't allow the mischevious seven year old to get away with anything, like a Chinese woman she scolds in a loud and high voice.

Made several interesting friends on the boat--including the warden in charge of foreign prisoners at the largest prison in Korea. Shared a taxi to the subway, and rode the subway with another very interesting guy (and his quiet son).

Chief difference between being around Koreans and Chinese--public etiquette. On a bus of nearly 30 riders I can hear the driver's music and the road noise, and a soft ripple of conversation, and that's it. If this was China I'd be listening to 15 people's cell phones (playing games, or sending text messages with loud button noises and alerts), all conversations would be shouted, and the driver would probably be smoking. #sogladtobehome #sickofChina #Koreaisthebest

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