It’s time for my two-week update. For the most part my days have blurred together as I have no semblance of what day it is unless I see a post for Himalaya Toastmaster in Chengdu, which is every Saturday. I suppose this is a very good thing!
I’m in a rhythm now where when I wake up in the morning, I go to the bathroom and then wash my face and brush my teeth. If the dishes haven’t been cleaned I will do that after, or I will help tend the fire while Dondrup’s mom starts to cook breakfast. Breakfast is normally around 9-10 a.m., so I can have some Tsampa before then since I am up super early.
After that, the day is just help watch the niece and nephew. Help with cleaning, tending the fire and pouring tea for people. Or whatever other task gets thrown my way. The only big thing we did in the last few days was go to a horse race track to watch the horses. I thought it would be on the grasslands, and in the process forgot I hate race tracks. Anyways as soon as we arrived it started raining for an hour so while we waited for the race to resume after the rain. We snacked on some fruit, fried dumplings and roasted chestnuts.
It was a long day, and I didn’t pay much attention to the race, but that is okay. I thought we were leaving at 5, which was what his dad said, but that turned into another 3 hours, where we couldn’t find him since he was busy talking and eating with friends. So, we were all waiting in the car, haha. It’s a learning experience I suppose, and we came home to Dondrup cooking dinner.
Other than that, it’s just some days tourists stop to ride the horses and some days they don’t. I always hope someone will stop to ride them. The rides are very cheap from an American point of view, so when I see tourists trying to haggle the price I really want to scream at them to pay up, greedy assholes. But I keep my mouth shut, and just mumble to myself. I should be a little more patient and compassionate with people, but I’m a work in progress.
That being said even though I am on vacation it feels more like a staycation. I just happened to move places and really haven’t gone anywhere. Everyday my photos are of the same place so I think it must be boring to others because well, I’m really not moving around. I have no Wi-Fi unless we go into his village to a little tea shop. So I’m not very likely to post much, I know I should post more.
I’ve been camping for three weeks, it is kind of ‘glamping’ as my mom calls it, but not really. As this is a lifestyle with added modern conveniences minus a bathroom. That might be the hardest thing to adjust to: if you want to go to the bathroom go for a walk into the grasslands, far enough so people can’t see you, to do your business. I’ve become more environmentally aware of how much toilet paper I use. I should bring it back with me after going, but I know it will disintegrate so I feel less bad about my choices. Though I wish I was at a point where I could feel confident using grass or a ‘stone’ when needed. That would definitely be more environmentally friendly. That’s a comfortable learning curve I haven’t reached yet, but I assume one day I might.
As for showering in 4 weeks I’ve taken two real showers in Zoige. And the second time I took a shower I felt like I was wasting so much water! I asked myself do I really need this much water? Do I really need to shower as often as I have been in Chengdu? Granted different environments require different needs, but it doesn’t mean I can’t cut back on my shower time or switch to using the bucket method in my wet bathroom. I guess having to always watch how much water I am using for washing laundry, brushing my teeth, washing my face/body/hair really shows how little I need to feel clean, or how often it needs to be done. Sometimes I wonder if those of us who are overconsuming water could take more action and reduce our water usage what effect would it have? But that is a privileged point of view and is why even if a piece of clothing has the smallest amount of dirt on it is washed immediately. I’ve learned clothes can be worn over and over, no one has to be 100% sharply dressed 24/7. So, there are some ways I can simplify my own life while making an impact on the environment and I think that is a great skill to have gained!