I have put up the first set of photos from India, mostly from Rewalsar, but a little bit from Mandi and the road to Dharamsala, too. I have also added some photos to the Laos section:
I haven’t yet put up the Akha photos, but I may not get around to those until I get back to Bangkok…I don’t have laptop connectivity in Rewalsar and will probably only be in Dharamsala another day or two. They’re great, though. 😉
Dharamsala has been nice…I infiltrated a Tibetan carpetmaking cooperative yesterday and will write that up when I get a chance (too tired now after a long day of Web editing). Tomorrow morning I’ll be volunteer-teaching English (to a monk at one of the monasteries…that should be interesting, he barely speaks English so I’m not sure how we’ll communicate), and in the afternoon going off to terrorize some more rug merchants. (I am not actually sure who is terrorizing who, since about half of them feel compelled to proposition me in the middle of negotiating rug purchases, which continues to flabbergast me–there’s enough cash involved that you’d *think* it would overrule their native sense of lust, but no…)
I went off to the Dalai Lama’s monastery this afternoon…heard chanting when I entered the lower levels, and as I came up to the main temple, suddenly found myself amidst a thousand monks/nuns, chanting…a sea of maroon robes. Awesome, in the old sense of inspiring awe. Unfortunately, photography’s not allowed in the temple, so you’ll have to settle for the description.
But in another day or two, I’m headed back to Rewalsar, where I plan to spend another ten days or so meditating on the mountain, before heading back to Bangkok for a week, then home.
Home. Seems like a pretty weird idea. It’s been almost nine months since I was last gainfully employed (unless you count the $1 in tips I got while posing as an Akha maiden in Thailand, with the real Akha laughing their heads off in the background 😉 ), exactly five months since I was last in the U.S., and 22 days since I last had a decent burger (cows are sacred in India).
America. Land of miracles. Like unlimited hot water. Woo.
(I hear they even have steaks there…)