Tuesday, November 27, 2007

OK, Now I'm Overdoing It

So on Friday it will be two weeks until my flight back to the US. Not that I am counting down or anything.... Actually I am.
Here are some photos of the Ganden monastery outside of Lhasa. Wifey and I took a day trip out to the monastery which is about 1500 meters higher elevation than Lhasa. My dad warned me that it was a bit rough up there and it was. We braved the elevation though and took a walk around the other side of the hill the monastery was on and it had some awesome views. The prayer flags were whipping pretty hard in the wind and it was pretty awesome. The road up to the monastery from the valley floor was this amazing series of switchbacks which looked insane from above. It was literally like 30-40 curves back and forth.

Huffing and puffing.

Sheep - there were long haired sheep which looked like mini-yaks. They were hilarious.
Transition to my replacement is in high gear. I also have a midnight meeting tonight combined with an 8am tomorrow. The running joke at the office is that I "used" to like my job. I guess I started that joke....
Meeting time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Yeah, More Tibet

The day after Thanksgiving is not exactly a holiday in China. That said, the cafe staff in Beijing did make up for their botching of the holiday the day earlier by serving turkey with all the traditional trimmings. When I say traditional trimmings I mean thin pancakes, green onions and plum sauce. That's right, Peking turkey. The joke that I was making the day earlier came to fruition in the most literal way.
More Tibet. These photos are in Lhasa. This day we went to the Jokhang one of the most holy places for pilgrims in Tibet. It was pretty intense inside. Lots of pilgrims, yak butter and incense. After a quick look around we headed for the roof which was a little quieter and we were allowed to take photos....

That's right.


Things are busy getting the transition going for my replacement in Beijing but I did manage to fit in some video game time with Allan today and beat Halo 3. It was pretty rad. I also uploaded some photos to the picasaweb album of Laos today and some others from Cambodia the other day.
Off to bed.

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.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tibet Post 1

OK, finally diving into the Tibet photos. A lot of them came out pretty great in my humble opinion. It is pretty hard to screw up photos of such an amazing place. I am breaking the photo posts down into days so that I can post a ton of photos. These are the photos from the first day we were there.
There are lots of rules for foreigners (non-Chinese nationals) traveling to Tibet. Its kind of a pain really. My dad basically convinced me not to pay for a big tour - that saved me around $1000. Thanks dad.

These are photos Kia took from the bus between the airport and Lhasa.

The Potala palace. This is basically where our bus let us off. Awesome.

Prayer wheels that go all the way around the palace for pilgrims.

Part of the park behind the palace.

A couple of shots from behind the palace. Lots more photos. Between Kia and myself we took around 600 in Tibet. That's going to max out my Picasa web album probably.
So things are cool here in Beijing. Cold really. Its been around freezing the last week or two. Thanksgiving is coming up so maybe I can get some Peking turkey hooked up. I'm not going to set my hopes too high for the office Thanksgiving meal but damn, I could go for some stuffing and gravy. I hope everyone eats and drinks too much.
Stay grimy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ridiculously Cute Kids Wearing Clothes My Wife Designed

For those of you who don't know, wifey has been working at Tea Collection for the last year and a half or so. She works as the textile designer for the company which designs kids clothing in a pretty unique way. Every season at Tea they use a different country as inspiration for the clothing line so the clothes are fairly interesting. Because the company is fairly small and Kia is basically the bomb, she does the textiles for the company including prints, weaves, etc. and also does the knit design. I thought I would throw some photos in to give Kia some props. I'm proud of the accomplishments she's made and I am extremely happy that she gets to do what she enjoys and be creative on a daily basis.
The Tea Collection website has more information on the company which is pretty cool. They work with and contribute to the Global Fund for Children which is a rad group.
Stole some photos from the website which give a sample of some of the work that Kia has done with prints, weaves and knits.

I don't know where they find these kids but Jesus, those are some decent genes. Thanks for nothing parents.
Less than a month to go in Beijing. Its getting cold here and apparently it snowed in some part of Beijing the other day. It kind of reminds me of home, except, you know, its China.
(Updated the pictures to remove stuff that Kia hasn't worked on and add in some other stuff)