Thursday, October 21, 2004


Brown sere hills, deadened by the onset of winter. White mountains, becoming whiter by the day. A hardy, uncomplaining people. Little plump-faced fairskinned children, their cheeks red with the cold, smiling unselfconsciously at me. Monastries with friendly, brown-clad monks; golden Buddhas behind gilded glass doors. Clumps of orange and yellow hued trees dotting an otherwise barren landscape. Olive green army uniforms and army trucks and army jeeps and army barracks. Me puking onto snow at 17,800 feet, sickened by the altitude change. Curvy mountain roads. Looking down from the jeep window at the precariously close edge of the road and REALLY fearing for my life. Yellow signposts like "Overtaker, beware of undertaker" and "Honey, I like you; but not so fast" and "This is a highway, not a runway; don't fly". 

Places I visited: The Shanthi Stupa, a couple of monastries, the Leh palace, a lake that lies both in India and China, the Magnet Hill, a gurudwara, 17,800 feet. 
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