Me: Can you teach me some swear words in Tibetian?
Tashi: What do you mean?
Me: Like when you’re upset and angry, what do you say? Like we say shit and f*^k when we are upset or angry. What do you say in Tibet?
Tashi: We explain why we are upset or angry. We don’t say things like these. And when someone is doing something bad to us, you can always choose to walk away. Why you scold them?
I’m in awe. Such is the wisdom of the Tibetans. Non violence, one of the teachings of Buddha.
Me: what do Tibetans do for fun?
Tashi: We go to the the Temple to walk around and pray
Me: I meant for fun, do you watch movies or party?
Tashi: oh! We picnic or dance in the park. But mostly we pray.
No wonder I don’t really see pubs or discos here. Although I see in the temple today, they sell alcohol. And I asked if you offer alcohol to God? No! It’s for the protector of the temple. Hmmmmmm
We were entering the Jokhang area today and it was very crowded as it’s Wednesday and security was heavy.
Me: hey! Why did that guard touch you? (The guard touched his ass as we walked past)
Tashi: They’re communist. They do whatever they like.
Me: isn’t China already non communist? But Tibet never was right?
Tashi: Well they control everything, so they can do anything they like.
Now I understand the tension between the Chinese and the Tibetans.
Me: Is housing free in Tibet?
Tashi: No, in China it’s free?
Me: I don’t know, I wish I knew more about the chinese culture. I am so ashamed because I’m chinese and you would expect me to know.
Tashi: don’t worry you don’t have to know everything. Not all chinese have to know about chinese and you can be chinese but don’t like chinese people too right? So they give free housing in Singapore?
Me: well, not free but if you are very poor, you get subsidised housing. How about here? Do you have to pay for your house?
Tashi: I live with my mother. Our house belongs to my grandmother. I don’t have to pay. I’m a mummy’s boy.
Me: how about your brother? He lives away from you and mom so did he have to buy a house?
Tashi: ah! Yes, he has to buy and it’s about 500,000CNY for a 40sqm house near the old town.
Me: how would he get the money? He’s not the famous tour guide like yesterday.
Tashi; He has his own business and he’s smart.
Me: So many Tibetans are getting married today.
Tashi: they are not Tibetans. Tibetans don’t take photos like these. These are chinese people. I don’t know why they all like to get married. So many chinese people already. They should not get married anymore. There is not enough resources in the world and they still have have so many children.
Me: Well, they have the one child policy and I heard now they can have more.
Tashi: they should have ZERO child policy. Really too many chinese people around. Why they keep wanting to get married and have children? Tsk! Oh! You married?
Me: Not married, no children either.
Tashi: Good. You happy?
Me: yes, I can go anywhere and do anything I want. You’re not married also, are you happy?
Tashi: Happy? No.
Me: Why? But you look happy
Tashi: Maybe outside happy but inside not. Why you have so many questions? You seem like you know all the answers why do you ask me?
Me: well I like to know what your thoughts are and how you feel.
Tashi: heehee let’s have tea.
Me: ok! That makes you happy right?
Tashi flashes his pearly whites at me.
Tea the answer to all Tibetan problems. Oh! and prayers.
We went to pray to the long life Buddha today.
Tashi: This we like to pray, it’s long life Buddha. You like long life?
Me: only if I’m healthy!
Tashi looks as me in the eye and said you wanna die young?
Me: I only want a long life if I can take care of myself and not be a burden. I have no children so no one to take care of me if I’m sick. I have a brother but he too has to take care of himself right?
Tashi looks impressed with my answer 🤣 (I’ve squared off today! 💪🏼)
And I found out why Tashi is less funny today. He said that there is now a shortage of guides because next week is golden week in China and they have 10 tour groups but only 8 guides. He said he is stressed and asked why everyone wants to come to Tibet? I said because Tibet is beautiful.
Tibet is beautiful indeed. The people and the places.