My time in Tibet was a study in change. It is fascinating to see people who don’t have running water in their homes talking on cell phones. Horses are still being used for transportation, but there were a lot of motorcycles as well. Nike tennis shoes often flashed beneath traditional Tibetan clothing as people walked by. Old and new finding patterns of adaptation.
The tour group itself had to adapt as well. Because most of Tibet had been closed off to foreigners, a cloud hung over our visit. On our drive into Tibet we had managed to get through a critical check point via a hefty bribe paid to the officers, but it did not guarantee we would be allowed to stay. We kept a low profile and changed plans as needed. By the end of my trip I felt like I was a difficult person to phase. Driving into oncoming traffic on a blind mountain curve? No problem! No electricity for days…pffft. Mudslide took out the water pipes? As if.
Now that I’m home I feel a certain serenity. It might be jet lag, but serenity is in the mix. Yesterday a strong storm hit our area in the morning. Trees went down and the phone and electric service went out. It could have been upsetting—we did have plans—but my husband and I sucked it up, cut up the trees, and cleared the mess. Nothing but a bed of lilies was damaged, and we felt lucky. In a strange sort of way, the forced down time was rather relaxing. We drove into town and got food and water. We took naps and read. We walked Booker and ate at the picnic table. By 9 pm the electricity came back on, but as of this writing, the phone service is still MIA. None of this has been even a blip on my blood pressure.
There is an old cliché that says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Bah! I think I’ve learned a lot of new tricks this past month, and I’m a better person for it.