Traffic Accident Insights

Being abroad, you are automatically exposed to other cultures but after traveling for a while, I find, you become somewhat desensitized to the differences. It is particular incidents, though, that open your eyes and let you see how differently people behave.

Take, for example, a car accident. In our countries, we would normally call the police to let them sort out the mess. There might be some yelling and some name-calling, and the bitch and the jerk would angrily exchange their insurance information before driving (or being driven) away enraged.

Now, here is quite a different story of how four Tibetans dealt with this. Continue…

Attack on Serthar Monastery

Over the past few weeks, we have heard many references to a Chinese attack on the monastery in Serthar, Sichuan in 2001. Evidently, the Chinese felt the large monastery complex was growing too quickly, so they decided to go in and blow big sections of it up.

Many Tibetans we have met have asked us to share the story with our friends and family abroad as they feel like media in the outside world has grown tired of the Tibetan issue. In addition, they feel increasing Chinese economic power and influence is pressuring western media to skip over such critical stories – especially in light of the Olympics.

I am continually fascinated by the number of people we have met who very aggressively criticize the Chinese government. When they discover that I speak Chinese (most don’t speak English here), it is like a flood gate opens and every frustration they have ever felt comes rushing out. I really feel for these people – they seem to be crying out for help, but they represent such a small minority that nobody is listening to them.

More Info:

Video on Serthar from the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

Decisions, Decisions

Dege has presented us with some big decisions.

Dege sits right near the border with the Tibetan Autonomous Region on the northern road to Lhasa. If we take the road, we could actually be in Lhasa within a couple of days.

But there is a catch Continue…

Dege Printing Monastery

Crowds with Lama in Bakong Monastery in Dege

One of the reasons we braved the steep drop-offs of the Chola pass was to visit the famous Bakong scripture printing monastery here in Dege.

Known throughout the Tibetan world for its enormous collection of Tibetan literature contained on over 200,000 printing blocks, the Bakong monastery is thought to contain Continue…

Record Heights

Driving between Manigango and Dege, Sichuan

I dreaded our 3-hour drive to Dege, a town in Sichuan beyond the Chola Mountain range close to the border of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). Our guide book strongly urged not to cross the Chola pass in public transportation but rather hire a private car and driver. So we did. This, at least, gave us the illusion we had some control over the speed at which our driver was going to take the predicted hair pin turns. Continue…

Canadian Dollar Stronger than US Dollar!?!

What is going on with the US dollar. It’s worth less than toilet paper. Even worse, it is worth less than the Canadian dollar! Has the entire US economy collapsed? Has the second Great Depression begun? What’s going on?

Let’s hear some comments from the States.