At the risk of seeming like one of those people who trap guests in the living room for hours at a time to show slides of recent travels, I do want to take you to the Barkhur Market and the Sera Monastery in Lhasa for just a bit.
The Barkhur Market is too much to take in in one stay. Stalls upon stalls of fruits, hanging meat, bright colored yarn, live birds, necklaces, furniture, fabrics, trinkets of all kinds.
Jinpa took me to one interior place, perhaps with genuine Tibetan goods. I didn’t bring enough yuan to buy, but maybe later…
I walked back to the hotel on my own.
Jinpa and Mr. Lee [our driver] took me to the Sera Monastery on the edge of Lhasa. At one time there were 5000 monks there–now 500. There’s a sad, run-down look to the place. A casualty. No money is coming its way for repairs. The architecture is still beautiful and it was hard not to imagine the thousands of monks who had once lived there. Jinpa told me it was where Tibetans could get an education.
As I look at these photos now I remember feeling like a newborn in Tibet. The world was so brand new to me. In my regular days I don’t see half of what’s in front of me because I’m so accustomed to looking at it. When it’s all new, it’s also hard to see it all because there’s just so much.
As I think about this trip, one thing I’d like to bring away is that feeling of seeing the world new, seeing my world like a traveler. What new details would I see that I haven’t noticed for a while? What sounds would stand out? What would I find wondrous?