Cycling The Silk Road In China – Gangcha- A Tibetan town
Life is not easy on the Tibetan plateau.
Average yearly temperatures, only reach 0.7 degree Celsius.
In the height of summer, temperature only reach around 10-15 degree Celsius.
It is a dry area, and the majority of the population are nomadic Tibetan herdsmen, who live and herd their yaks and sheep on this grass land.
The area is also home to over 33 ethnic groups, most of them live around Gangcha, a town that felt frozen back in time…..
I felt as if I am walking in the old Wild West… With people wearing cowboys hats, stores selling horse and animal equipment….. Rusty places to eat and strong people, who live a life devoid of mental complications….
I think about it often….. As we go through this isolated land, and as I observe these strong people with chiseled featured, wind burnt red cheeks and sun browner skins…. They stand so tall and strong…
Their smile may be dotted with gold teeth, but it is sincere and truly happy as a child.
What we focus and obsess about in ‘our collective reality,’ is totally unknown to them here.
Mental disorders are a luxury of an overindulgent society….
I think about my friends, who live lives so focused on their mental issues, about their likes and dislikes, about their insecurities and intolerances… Their ambitions and goals…
Here, in this high-altitude grazing land, if you are able to bring the herds to water…. If you are able to pound the yak milk into a butter……. If you are able to fold the blankets of the bed, or able to feed yourself…… If you are not visibly deranged,…… than you are doing very, VERY well.
Nobody has time or any desire to obsess on mental issues.
You get up in the cool morning, you dress warmly, you feed yourself and then you spend the day attending to your herd….
You go to town to buy or sell provisions when you need them,….. you go to the temple to offer blessings or prayers when your child is born or somebody dies……..and you retire to bed when the day is done.
Life is hard on the Tibetan Plateau, but in many way, the people are stronger than they are in our society.
They are stronger mentally, physically, and they are able to endure more…..
We gave a ride to two Tibetan woman and a baby.
The baby had a short hair, but one very long braid in the center of the back of his head.
I felt their energy and it came to me so strong and calm……
I felt like resting my head on their shoulder…..
Both woman felt so strong…… So centered in their tradition and in their inner being……., And did I mention that they smile more frequently?…..