Traveling is something that needs to be shared, to enjoy new discoveries with friends, and to warn against unpleasant surprises of which there can be many. I particularly enjoy seeing new landscape, scenery, nature and the natural beauty of open spaces and mountains.
I don't search out new foods and culinary exotica. I do enjoy a good meal and new flavours - but only if I can recognize what I am eating.
Learning new things, experiencing new situations and meeting people with completely different points of view and perspectives is the essential treasure gained through travel.
November 18th 2013
The weather in Chengdu has been good. There is often fog in the morning. One day has been overcast with a hint of rain. There is also a noticeable amount of pollution in the air, but nothing like Beijing. Yesterday was supposed to be a gentle and relaxed day with less food consumption. It didn't work out that way. Sangshen Chao was the program for yesterday afternoon, the antique market of Chengdu. My Tibetan hosts insisted on plying me with copious amounts of yak meat, soup and meat stuffed bread, all to be washed down with Tibetan salted black tea without the milk and butter. After lunch we walked a short distance to a nearby gallery and spent several hours discussing art, painting styles and fake sculpture while enjoying a green tea that was distinctly yellow ... read more
November 17th 2013
I am stuffed. I feel like I have been eating for days. If I vist a private art collection they want to feed you. If I give a lecture they want to feed you before and after. When I vist friends they want to stuff you with more food than is physically possible. After eating and then travelling to a second venue the food starts all over again. Last night I ventured into a Japanese restaurant, the choice of my host. By happen stance, the owner was a young woman who is three quarters Chinese and one quarter Russian. She lived for 15 years in Vancouver and considers it home. Who would've thought! Vancouver meets Vancouver in a Japanese Restaurant in Chengdu. By the way, the food was very good, however I didn't eat the bugs, ... read more
November 4th 2013
What an amazing day! Aside from Sichuan food which stands alone, I had the best meal of Shanghai style cuisine which was easily the best meal I have ever had in China. It was outstanding. It was at the Yu Yuan Garden - the dumpling restaurant looking onto the pond near the entrance to the gardens. Today was a day of wandering around Shanghai with the benefit of a car and driver. There were many highlights throughout the day but visiting the Shanghai home of Sun Yat Sen was a pleasure And an education. Tomorrow morning I leave for Beijing.... read more
November 3rd 2013
The city of Shanghai has several things that give it a unique character. The Bund is the strip of river front, the embankment, where there is a row of early 20th century buildings constructed in a European architectural style. It is this early skyline that gave rise to the descriptive saying of 'Paris of the East.' In the last ten to fifteen years a modern architectural skyline has developed on the opposite bank of the Huangpo river. This skyline offers one of the best light shows in the world rivaling Las Vegas, Tokyo, Time Square and any others. The Shanghai Museum is a jewel box of pleasures. It is manageable in size, easy to navigate, with galleries on a human scale. It is lacking strength and depth with the Tibetan objects but more than makes up ... read more
November 2nd 2013
It has been a few days since arriving in Hong Kong and then moving on to Shanghai. Hong Kong was fun with both work and some play. The Peninsula Hotel was a wonderful experience with drinks up on top in the Felix restaurant - surely the best view of Hong Kong and Victoria harbour. High Tea on the ground floor is also one of the best in Hong Kong - although Kowloon side. On this trip I got to know the city and outlying area a lot more than on previous quick visits. The southern areas of Hong Kong island are quieter than the busy north side. Stanley is a beautiful beach front neighbourhood and Wang Chuk Hang is an up and coming former industrial area turning commercial And residential. We arrived in Shanghai on Thursday ... read more
July 12th 2012
I had a very relaxing morning before heading to the Chengdu Airport. Both Adha and Sonam accompanied me out to see me off. The flght was uneventful, which means a good flight. The meal O.K. The flight arrived in Hong Kong on time despite being 45 minutes late in leaving Chengdu. I only have two hours between flights this time. I usally leave more time. Two hours doesn't give much time when the arrival gate and departure gate are at opposite ends of the Hong Kong airport. It is a little bit like Denver if you know what I mean. The Wing lounge is open after months of renovations. I have been informed that they have upgraded me to Business Class because it is a full flight. Ya really have to like Cathay! They take care ... read more
July 10th 2012
It was a late morning. I didn't get up until 9:00, but I didn't go to bed until 2:00. I was busy finishing an article for publication. Hopefully this is the last short article. It has really been a lot of work. Today I have only one meeting at 2:00 and of course at the favorite tea shop. He is a Tibetan art historian and very knowledgable. Yesterday was busy all day with either working or talking about art, artists, History or religion. I can't believe my time in Chengdu is nearly over. The city and environment is the closest I have ever come to feeling like I was still in Vancouver. Strange I know! Even though last summer at the University was extremely successful, this year was even more successful - although harder with less ... read more
July 7th 2012
Yak Yoga & Sacred Tibetan Juggling Monkeys: You too can learn to perform the very secret millennium old Tibetan Buddhist Yak Yoga! Courses are starting soon. Sign up now and receive the bonus offer of the additional training in the very rare and esoteric instructions on how to train monkeys to juggle cherry snow cones! *All instruction and supplementary course materials are included and will be provided by the expert staff. *Participants are required to bring (1) one yoga mat and (2) provide their own yak. Domesticated yaks are permissible with prior approval of the course leader. Both dri and dzo are not expectable according to the strict rules of the ancient tradition. *For those participants also registered for the Monkey Juggling a medical waiver is required and proof of pre-emptive rabies vaccine inoculation. Snow cones ... read more
July 4th 2012
Class at the University last night went very well with a number of really good questions at the end. Post class, I made it across the river to the Shangrila Hotel to meet up with friends. I enjoyed a really wonderful grilled chiken sandwich and an Irish draft beer - Kilkenny. It wasn't a late night and I was back at the apartment by 11:20. Today, up early and out the door. A group of us from the University were again going through the storage collection of the Sichuan Provincial Museum. It was really a lot of fun. The art that stands out for me are the four paintings sets of Gesar Life Story (which is now published), the Panchen Lama Incarnation Set, a set of Sakya Lamdre Lineage Paintings and a set of Eighty-four Mahasiddhas ... read more
July 3rd 2012
Tonight is the second to last class, but an important class anyway. All the classes are important when teaching a system for learning a subject. The weather hasn't changed much excpet it was quite cool last night. I used two blankets when I slept. I managed to get some work done this morning but mostly was answering phone calls. The weekend and Monday were very productive and I was able to get most of the class preparation and student handouts done well in advance of the classes. All in all it was a relaxing weekend with quality tea shop time included. I have a friend visiting from California for a few days and that is very nice and a pleasant change. While waiting for the computer to come up and the internet I have just leared ... read more