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I no longer want to visit Tibet in China

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In 2006, I was greatly inspired by the photos of Tibet taken by LD (2004) in travel and documentary style.
Then, I seriously put time and efforts to learn photography on my own and from good photographers around me.
The blue sky, the white clouds that seem touchable, the colorful flags, and the gold-covered Potala Palace make Tibet sounds like a heaven on earth.
You can be so close to the sky (and heaven) in Tibet.

For the new year of 2007, I told one of my best friends KS that as a traveler in my life, I want to visit 1 of 3 main destinations.
We dream and set goals, then we realize our dreams.

Do not entirely believe photographers.
They are a combination of artists, engineers, scientists and magicians.
Those who are madly in love can make mundane places look so dramatically beautiful.
A friend of mine told me that the photos of magic hours that I took look more beautiful than real scene.
The simple secret is long exposure.
To me, this is “seeing beyond seeing”.
How I wish I know the secret of “living beyond living”.
We are all on journey.

In 2011, HM – a charming girl from Sichuan whom I like, visited Tibet.
Her SLR-produced photos of Tibet appear normal to me.

In summer 2012, I firmly decide to substitute my dream to visit Tibet with a better dream – a better destination, according to my perspective.
I review the photographs by LD that inspired me. They were fresh to me because of his style of using wide-angle lens, again allowing me the possibilities of “seeing beyond seeing”.
But now I am uninspired.
So what?
What has happened to me?

I wonder if my global wandering for the past several years to multiple countries, my diligent research and reviewing on how to produce beautiful photographs that the professionals achieve, have driven myself to be so perfectionist.
Being perfectionist is tough to live, I do not mind to raise my standards of work, but I feel that we need the act of balancing.

Tibet is situated on high altitude, beyond 3000 meters (risk of altitude sickness).
Honestly, I am concerned of altitude sickness.
Health and lives are the most important.
Though I am a risk-taker, I am a calculated risk taker.
The longer one lives, the more fearful one can be.
I have always attempted to overcome my fear.
See https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/how-to-overcome-fear

While we visited Zhongdian, we had our first encounter with a Tibetan. He is our tour guide. He could be funny and cruel at the same time.
He force people to pay $ to join a dinner of RMB 260 per head.
It is an expensive dinner by the standard in China.
The Shanghainese middle-aged lady sitting in front of me was not aware of the “compulsory” dinner as her tour agent did not tell her about this.
Lesson: when we travel, we have to do research, at least check the travel forum for safety precaution or “compulsory” things.
At a foreign land, we are at the mercy of the locals.
I witnessed how our Tibetan tour guide purposely elbowed her head after she refused, he forced her to call her tour agent, and he moved on to collect $ from us.
The Tibetan tour guide declared that anyone who did not pay for the dinner had to get down of the bus immediately.
He said every Tibetan tour guide will do the same thing.
OK, perhaps tour guides worldwide are in tough economic situation (due to increasing competition, economic recessions that make people less keen to travel).
Really?
For that dinner alone, the Tibetans collected
4 buses x 50 people x RMB 260 = RMB 52,000 ~= USD,8,200.
Now, I understand why our tour guide can afford to wear foreign branded sport shoes. Branded things (in particular foreign brands) are luxuries in China.

According to our Tibetan guide:
1. The Tibetans can carry knives around, including at schools.
2. The Tibetans can freely and are given money to attend schools. He once studied in Kunming and no matter he scored 100 or 0, he would graduate.
3. The Tibetans marry at the average age of 13. Our guide said he was late for marrying at the age of 14.
4. The Tibetans do not have to pay taxes.
But based on my limited observations, the Tibetans sell same products more expensive than the shops in Yunnan.

I am curious on the Tibetan medicine and spiritual teachings.
Most likely, I will learn them outside Tibet, through the perspectives of overseas Tibetans, Westerners, and Chinese.
I succeeded to learn on using chopstick in Canada, so I believe that I do not have to be physically present in Tibet in order to learn all these.

Tibetans living at high altitudes have no more oxygen in their blood than other people, they have 10 times more nitric oxide and double the forearm blood flow of low-altitude dwellers.
NO = blood vessel dilator.

Bye Tibet!

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Written by blueroselady

May 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] 3. I wrote "Shangrila (Zhongdian) in Yunnan reminds me on Switzerland." Personally, I do not like Zhongdian. Switzerland is a better travel destination. Friendlier people / safer environment. Lower altitude […]

  2. […] @  Tibet in China. 青藏高原 by 雪莲三姐妹 Qinghai Tibet Plateau by Three Snow Lotus Sisters does represent the spirit of Tibet. Later, I decided that I am uninterested to visit Tibet. […]


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