The next day started a bit slower and we only met at 9:30. I enjoyed my Chinese breakfast with stuffed baozi and some spicy vegetables.Today we had more monasteries on our program and thus fortified we were on the way. The first one was the Drepung Monastery.
After a short drive we saw first of all some dogs.
Here the Buddhists paint the stones surrounding the monastery every September when there is a big religious festival.
There we also found the most astonishing toilets (and relatively clean compared to some others that we saw on this trip).
The monastery of course was beautiful too, more from the outside than the inside. Inside in the little side temples and nooks it felt more like a creepy place than a religious temple. The protectors next to the Buddha statues looked like demons (which they actually were before the got vanquished).
As usual there were no pictures allowed inside but I sneaked one in of the stairs. They were always super steep and dangerous.
In front of the prayer halls there were always huge pillars with prayer flags. Visiting all these places I felt really calm and at peace while Sylvia disliked the disturbing images inside.
For lunch we went to a little tea house and had some simple Tibetan fare. Rice with vegetables and some yak meat for me and the same for Sylvia without the yak.
After lunch the next monastery, now the Sera Monastery. After the third one it felt like more of the same. Still, we had to show a certain interest because our guide was so clearly into it. Sylvia bought herself a little prayer, you never know it might help.
From there we were driven downtown again to go shopping but eventually just stopped by at our guide’s tea house, enjoyed some tea
and then ended up in a shopping mall in search of a washroom. My little dictionary from Vienna for Chinese came in very handy again.
I also bought myself a pair of shoes and a long-sleeved shirt. The mall was definitely a success. To top it all we managed to get on the right bus and were back in our area no time.
But on the short walk back to the hotel we were drawn into a Chinese restaurant with the words ‘Come in, come in’. But that was the extent of the English words of the owner. From then on it was looking at the pics in the menus and using the dictionary again.
We managed to order though we apparently made a mess of things because what we got was enough dinner for 10 people. Please note that the dishes were individually plastic wrapped for each customer.
Also they didn’t seem to understand that when Sylvia means no meat then there should be no meat. Meaning even though there was no meat in the soup, it counts as meat when it is a chicken soup base and a little worm on top of some green leave. So that was it for Sylvia with the Chinese food, we didn’t go again together.