Once a monk, always a monk (Pt. 6/6)

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From one car to another I travel on the road over mountains and green beautiful green landscapes. By then I had made my way to the Tibetian highlands. A contrast to all what I had seen in China so far. Also the people looked different. Their skin was darker. They were Tibetians.

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My next stop was Xiahe, a Tibetian village with a famous monastry.

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I wandered around the Buddhistic monastery and an English speaking monk showed us around the monastry and explained their life here. He explained that the monks can choose between several subjects to study. For example philosophy or traditional medicine. That’s what they would study then for 15 years. He had studied philosophy he said not without hint of pride. As reply to a question, almost surprised, he explained that if you are once a monk, you are a monk forever. It’s a question of your whole life. You leave here in the monastery. You work, pray and sing together.

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Afterwards I could watch the monks and their chanting ritual. They were wearing read or pink robes and high, yeallow hats. Like this they were sitting on the stairs of a building and chanting together. First it were only a few and then more and more monks joined. While they were chanting their upper body moved from left to right in a meditative way. Also their chantings seemed quite meditative. Some villagers fell to their knees appearantly following a praying ritual while the monks were singing.

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Eventually the monks got rid of their black traditional shoes and went inside the hall. Outside they left mess of shoes behind.

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Spontaneously I decided to continue hitchhike a bit more in this region. The next day in the morning I took a taxi for 2 Yuan to the turnoff where I dirt road was leading over the mountains to the village called Tongren. I heard about amazing scenery from a local.

When I was standing on the road I knew it was going to be easy to find a car. The cars were going really slow and they would be so surprised about a foreigner here. I drove with some kind of tractor but he was not even faster than walking speed, so I only joined him for a couple of minutes.

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I was surrounded by rice fields. Almost the first car stopped again and gave me the next ride. They drove to Ganjia and were clearly happy to give me a lift. “Ganjia, Ganjia!”, the driver shouted the whole time.

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In the village they invited me to eat.

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When I continued walking through on the road in the village a car stopped by themselves and the two Tibetians gave me a ride. I didn’t exactly understood where they were going to but appearently it had something to do with praying and they wanted me to join. First I refused then, in the last second I agreed to join them to this unknown place. From the village we drove into the green fields. Over a dirt road and green hills, passing big rock formations. At the horizon I saw a huge and mystical appearing rock face. The clouds hanging in the rocks. They pointed too these rocks and said this is were we would go.

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In the mountains, far away from civilization we arrived at a Buddhistic monastery. The guys talked to a friendly monk who could speak some Chinese. I showed him my explanation letter and he translated to them.

In the house we sat in a small room heat by an oven in the middle of the room. On this oven they cooked tea and I got to know to his wife and his mother. From different powders and flours she made a pastery for me which I ate with hands.

 

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My bed for the night. I slept on one side and he on the other side.

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The following morning I went on my way again. Doing the remaining distance to Beijing. I was exhausted and only wanted to arrive in Beijing. There I could stay at the Brasilian flatmates of Tales, the guy I met in Kashgar in a hostel. Grit your teeth an get to it. In the first night I slept on a roof top again and in the second night in the cars I was going with.

 

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Using the last of my strength I made it to Beijing. It happened so much and I really needed a break. Therefore, I went to a hostel for the first night to regain some energy.

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The two days at the Brazilian students were great. We had a party and I became friend with really cool people, that really dare to study for two years in China, a great adventure. I had a little rainy adventure at some remote and authentic part of the Great Wall.

 

wDSC04197Mercedes G-Klasse

wDSC04184Porsche Cayenne

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wDSC04160My place to sleep in a service station. I opened an unlocked door and climbed some stairs without light and not knowing where this would lead to. It was a clean and very hidden corridor. It was excellent.

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After more than 10 months I finally arrived Mongolia – by hitchhiking from my little hometown in Germany.

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