There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune

From The Roof Of The World. . .

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. . . to your desktop

After a ninety minute flight which was highlighted by a majestic Everest peaking through the clouds to the west, we landed in Lhasa. I have just spent 250 pages absorbing the country as it was, as described by Heinrich Harrer in his epic account, but I was still wholly unprepared for what waited at Lhasa airport. Surrounded by magnificent hills and a few snow-capped peaks, with white puffy clouds hovering tantalizingly close in the clear, blue mountain air, I was awestruck.

On the 56 km road from the airport to the city, I found myself overcome with emotion. I'm not sure if this occurred due to the physical beauty or the knowledge of the tragic history of this land and its people.

Lhasa itself is a bit depressing. The roads are wide boulevards like you would find in any Eastern European city, such as Bucharest. They have names like "Beijing Avenue". The vast majority of architecture appears to date no older than perhaps twenty years. People's Republican Army representatives are present in every square, sitting in the middle on chairs reserved for them. One of these gentlemen shoved Ace out of the way as he was walking through the crowd, then paused to jostle a praying pilgrim, before continuing on his merry way.

We have each consumed at least three litres of water and have been carbo-loading in an effort to avoid acute mountain sickness. We are only at 3595 metres (11,800 feet), so we should be fine. The only time I suffered from this affliction was at around 14,000 feet, when Double Barrel and I were trudging up Rainier. In Lhasa, the worst that has happened is that we feel slightly stupider then our general equilibrium stupidity.

The people here are wonderful. Really friendly, genuine and cheerful. Some of them cannot get over seeing our non-traditional faces and will stop to stare openly at us. One fellow was shocked to see Ace's arm hair, and paused to touch it to make sure it was real.

I really hope this post makes it to your desktop; I'm not sure how good the internet connections are in lovely China.*

*It worked - excellent.

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About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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