Hongkong. I was really exhausted after finishing the trip and it was constantly 32 degrees, so after sitting at the computer all day I decided to cheer myself up. I headed to Temple street to the night market to find a face reader. I watched a film recently called The Chinese box with Jeremy Irons and Gong Li, and I saw a face map in it. I wanted to have one. I went up straight to the lady who was sitting just where the old man in my hotel told me she will, and asked her to read my face. She was happy to have a customer, but she didn’t want to draw. She said these days people just want to talk to her, they don’t want drawing, so she is out of practice. Or maybe never got into. But I wanted to understand how it works. She started off with many general compliments. „You are a very kind person. You always have a plan, and never let anyone stop you or divert you.” And then she started analyzing the face ordering certain age and qualities to different parts. „Your ears are big and thick, it means your parents loved you very much when you were a child. Your forehead is full, so you were very good at school. Your eyebrows are long, it means good career. Eyes are beautiful: you do good business. Your nose is long and straight, between 40-50 you will make a lot of money. Upper lips means the period between 50 and 60, you will be doing well, the chin over 60. You have to be careful with water over 60. Especially when you have a bath. And your two moles are bad signs, they make you to spend a lot of money. You should get rid of them. The lines under your eyes show that your children will be great, they will always listen to you.” I was looking at her with disbelief, I thought I just have lines there because I’m tired, so she asked: „How old are you?” When I said 39 she was shocked. „I thought you were 34. But it doesn’t matter. Signs are signs.” „How many children do you think I will have?” I asked just in order to participate. She became even more serious, and she was checking my face then my palm for a while. „Two boys and a girl.” „Wow!” „And your eyes are shining which means you love travelling.” I couldn’t really deny that, and thought maybe this divination was sold to a few more people today already, so just thanked and went to an open air seafood restaurant to have some shrimps with cashews and while writing this a huge crab walked past under the table. The cook caught him just when he made it to the street to freedom. I was thinking for a while about his chances to survive on the streets of Kowloon. Or would he be able to leave the urban jungle and ever make it home? I was pondering over the crab, the divination, the paralels, being caught up in reality which is just a loop in the chain.
Saturday, 23 June 2007
This time I was on a different trip called Nomadic China, and finished it in Hongkong yesterday. It was nice to see some new places. And it is nice to be here, sip a coffee latte in the Pacific Café, and do some walking after work. People would think Hongkong is a place of skyscrapers only, because everyone makes this same picture like me:), but in reality it is one of the greenest places, beautiful hills covered with trees.
Our roads crossed again in Xiahe with Kata, the other Hungarian working for the same company, but also an old friend. It was great to speak our language for a day. Otherwise just speaking mostly English, sometimes Tibetan, and I should speak Chinese a lot if I could. I really have to improve this latter one, bought many books already, but have very little time to study. And lost my MP3 player in Lhasa last time, which helped me to learn on the way. Anyway, I want to learn and will. Shouldn't find too many excuses instead.
Hsuen Tsang (or Xuanzang) was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, who travelled to India in the early Tang period. He studied with many famous Buddhist masters, especially at the Nalanda University. When he returned to China after 17 years of travel, he brought with him some 657 Sanskrit texts. With the emperor’s support he set up a large translation bureau in Changan, and with his students translated many scriptures into Chinese. Behind his statue you see the Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian (once called Changan), where he worked in the 7th century. My idol. A great traveller and more.
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
I had just two days in Beijing, visiting the Confucian temple, and my favourite Wang Fu Jing market (that's where this picture was taken in the evening), and started working again. This time there are only three people in the group, and the itinerary is a little bit different, this is the Nomadic China trip. 21 days from Beijing to Hongkong, but the first half of the trip is same as the Tibet trip. Beijing-Xian-Labrang Monastery-Langmusi-Chengdu. And then Yangshuo and Hongkong. On the road again...
On the way from Kathmandu to Beijing I had to change planes in Lhasa and Chengdu, and I travelled with a group of young people, who turned out to be a team just summitted the Everest. They said, the girl (in red baseball hat) is the first Chinese woman who climed the Everest. They were all very nice, happy, very open to talk about their experiences. They spent two months in the Everest area acclimatizing and at the end climbing. There were also other surprises, I ran into Elek from Agra Travels at the Tibetan border (and his Hungarian group), and he told me a Hungarian team started climbing the Everest just the day after we were there at the base camp. Then at the immigration office on the Nepali side we met an Irish girl, who also just summitted the Everest. I started thinking if it would be possible at all, if I could ever do it. It would be really amazing. Somehow I understood why is it great to get to the top. But couldn't find words to describe it. Just felt very touched.
Monday, 4 June 2007
I went to Boudha a few times to walk around the stupa, everything was in festive mood, because of the upcoming celebrations, I left Kathmandu just one day before Saga Dawa, the Buddha's birthday and anniversary of his passing away. Also the whole month is called Saga Dawa (the 15th, the full moon day is the birthday); most Buddhists don't eat meat during that month and avoid unwholesome actions, and do good all the time (offering alms, liberating lifes, doing religious practice), because Tibetans say, that whatever you do this month it counts 100 times.
Monday, 28 May 2007
It took me 3 hours to upload all the photos in the Java Cafe in Kathmandu. Hope you appreciate it!:) I will try to write more often from now on, but only the local Internet God knows if it will happen or not. On May 31st I'm flying back to Beijing, and start the next trip.