Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tibezzle Post 2

Happy Thanksgiving. I celebrated the traditional Chinese way of working all day and then eating Taiwanese food complete with boba milk tea. We were going to eat Peking duck but Kunan didn't want to. No turkey today in the cafe at work which was kind of a let down but they did have a knife cut noodle dish with meat. It was awesome. I ended up getting into a bit of a debate about turkey vs. chicken with some of my coworkers. Everyone who I asked - who had tried turkey - were happy to state that chicken is preferable. I reject this statement outright. While I do understand and appreciate the day to day utility of chicken and the ability to prepare it in a number of different ways, when comparing roasted chicken to roasted turkey, turkey wins. Debate over. (I actually said that in the office today after my discussion about turkey)
OK, more Tibet photos. These are from day 2 of our trip to Lhasa. We took a walk around the Jokhang which is a popular pilgrimage route and then took a trip to two monasteries which were right outside of Lhasa. One of them was closed, for, uh, repairs... the Sera monastery was open and buzzing. Photos below.

Pilgrims walking around the Jokhang - we went in the Jokhang a different day.

Monks engaged in debate. This is a daily activity in which they discuss Buddhist writings and clap their hands together to emphasize certain parts of the scripture. The guy below was feeling his section of the scripture.

This was on the main street of the city. I smiled at this kid and he banged on his drum for me. It was pretty loud. The "Tibet Power" signs that lined the street were money.

At dinner.
I went to the grocery store after dinner this evening to look for yak meat for my grandmother. For some reason my dad thinks that she will like this. I didn't find yak meat but I did find spicy duck tongue. Perhaps this will be a reasonable substitute.
Off to bed. Eat some stuffing for me.


robert said...

Did you pay the money to take pictures inside the chapels? I regret not having done so now that I am a jillion miles away. At the time I thought it was rude to take pictures inside, but if all it takes is a couple yuan, maybe I should have. I particularly liked the fact that the yuan was blowing around the floor of chapels, and nobody seemed to pay any attention. On the other hand, someone has to find some money for the next couple tons of gold for tomb for the current Dalai Lama.

Matthew Lewis said...

I didn't pay to take photos either for similar reasons. Although, I don't really regret it at this point. I kind of feel like any photo I took wouldn't have done it justice. I am pretty sure most of those bills blowing around were mao, not yuan, so the actual value of those heaps of cash came out to about 1.62 USD or .0002 Euros (for my European readers). The Dalai Lama tombs were pretty insane though, the did literally look like ornate gold bricks with raw stones stuck in wherever they would go.

robert said...

I'm sure you're right about the mao. I particularly liked the bills stuck with yak butter to the walls. I thought the tombs looked more like gold bricks shaped into buddhas and then decorated with jewels. The tonnage was pretty impressive. We went out to Thanksgiving dinner with the Banner Creek crowd, and managed to not overeat too badly. I took antipasto this year. It was an Italian/American Thanksgiving appetizer. The one thing I can remember from the Tibet experience that I won't be able to really keep in my mind much longer was the droning chant. I wish I had a recording of it. That combined with the thick incense hanging in the air and the yak butter cauldrons made for pretty dramatic stuff. Good luck with the training of the new recruit.

Sara said...

spicy duck tongues? i had marinated duck tongues once, and i have to say that they aren't really something i recommend. if you remember the scene from 'kill bill' where uma thurman bites off the rapist's tongue, that's kind of what i was thinking when i ate them. ugh.

great pictures though!

Matthew Lewis said...

I have eaten duck tongues once as well. I have no intention of eating them anytime again in the future. These are for grandma.