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lamagonzo (not verified)
Well, will be celebrating my birthday in Nepal this evening...

...here in Kathmandu. After being in the country since 2/16 just gradually devolving my western accelerated lifestyle, I feel like I've adjusted to the slower and more family oriented way of life.
Tonight will be a feast of Napali food with a beautiful banquet of cake, ice cream and fresh flowers and fruits, along with the conversation of close and beloved family.

lamagonzo (not verified)
Yesterday was the Hindu holiday of Holi in Nepal

Which is one of the most bizarre I have ever seen anywhere in the world. Children to 20somethings fill water balloons and chuck them at unsuspecting people from rooftops. Smart people who like to stay dry stay inside and the more frolicsome roam the streets taking their chances with super-soakers (the Chinese rip-off model, of course). Still, it is part of the crazy custom and color of foreign countries that we have this vast variety of experience -- it must be a blast if you have little kids and don't happen to be wearing a threee piece suit to work!

So tomorrow is the big day for me, off to Tibet. Not a grand adventure by any means but a week where the skies are a bluer blue than imaginable and the sun beats down like a hammer from the god's right hand.

I haven't spoken much about the religion of Tibet but it is a highly esoteric form of hybrid Buddhist tantra with certain flavors of Bon and the remnants of an ancient kingdom of Zhangzhung (to the North & West of the country's old boundry). This is the place where powerful, learned men command the gods and not the other way around.

Sadly, karma is karma. If the Tibetans made it go around, the Chinese sure do come around! And there is no god that can get in the was of fated karma!

lamagonzo (not verified)
Yesterday was the Hindu holiday of Holi in Nepal

Which is one of the most bizarre I have ever seen anywhere in the world. Children to 20somethings fill water balloons and chuck them at unsuspecting people from rooftops. Smart people who like to stay dry stay inside and the more frolicsome roam the streets taking their chances with super-soakers (the Chinese rip-off model, of course). Still, it is part of the crazy custom and color of foreign countries that we have this vast variety of experience -- it must be a blast if you have little kids and don't happen to be wearing a threee piece suit to work!

So tomorrow is the big day for me, off to Tibet. Not a grand adventure by any means but a week where the skies are a bluer blue than imaginable and the sun beats down like a hammer from the god's right hand.

I haven't spoken much about the religion of Tibet but it is a highly esoteric form of hybrid Buddhist tantra with certain flavors of Bon and the remnants of an ancient kingdom of Zhangzhung (to the North & West of the country's old boundry). This is the place where powerful, learned men command the gods and not the other way around.

Sadly, karma is karma. If the Tibetans made it go around, the Chinese sure do come around! And there is no god that can get in the was of fated karma!

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Joined: Aug 26 2009
Congratulations....

So glad to read that you got your papers Lamagonzo.The last four sentences of your most recent post are pure gold.All the best for the rest of your quest....

lamagonzo (not verified)
Got my Visa for Tibet...

...While the Chinese don't make it hard, they do make it very expensive -- $200 for the privilege of entering a country thaty has been rapped.

While I'm happy that after many years I am finally go to be able to visit the famed "Land of Snows" in a few days, it is still with a heavy heart that I'll be taking a most critical look at what changes the Chinese have wrought on the Tibetan plateau.

In many ways the Tibetans exemplified what a country could do if the population followed a unified course aimed at the further evolution of the human mind, as opposed to the further development of all disciplines aimed toward the goal of material wealth and comfort.

In many ways it will be sad but I'm taking it as a challenge to see how the Tibetans maintain their thousands of years old culture while still having to live up to the rigors of the mind-numbing drubbing of the human psyche through political indoctrination.

The ultimate irony is that the Chinese feel they are giving a helping hand up to a backward cousin trapped into a feudal condition. Unfortunately the Chinese are the like rich uncle who has everything but peace of mind.

Alaskahead's picture
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Joined: Jan 5 2009
Lamagonzo, you have friends of like minds

Water on the Mountain.
In preparation for overcoming an obstacle, perseverance furthurs.
In the midst of the greatest obstructions, friends come.

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
be careful out there gonzo...

come home safe after fine adventures.

lamagonzo (not verified)
Have hooked up with old, evil friends...

...it may be a while before anything intelligible is uttered from these lips.

The Chinese may have a problem with my Tibetan visa because I used to be a monk in the Dalai Lama's Gelugpa order for 12 years.

lamagonzo (not verified)
A unique Asian city...

Kathmandu is a city like no other in Asia. It is very hard to describe without it's own unique flavor, it's own eau de humanity. It is essentially as mix of Mongolian hordes that swept West and left a lot of genetic stock scattered around in different pools gene pools populates by Genghis Khan

The Mongolians are overwhelmingly Buddhst, usually of the Nyingmapa, Kagyupa and Gelugpa sects. The other predominant religion is, of course, the Hindus, who are rather a sad and pathetic rag-tag lot, struggling to keep up thier main temples. There is also an old, animistic/shamanistic tradition called the Bon-{os which can be said to account for up to no more than 10 percent of the population composingb this aministic religion. The rest is split 60% Buddhist and 30% Hindu.

Yesterday, Monday, there was a general strike because the Hindus wanted to go back to having an exclusively Hindu holiday calender, non of which make any sense but they were still ab able to pull off a mass general strike and shut down the city for a day, all for the cause of being an excvlusiveley Hindu state.

That, along wuth the rolling blackouts, makes life much slower and sedate. It is this relaxed state of bering depressurized from the West that I find most interesting.

cosmicbadger's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
thanks

for the travelogue Gonzo..looking forward to the next episode

safe travels to you!

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