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Monday, March 01, 2004

Well, since I did not write you about my adventures yesterday, I suppose that I will do so now as I wait
for Laura to get back from lunch, so I can go print out my students work. I have finally figured out my
shower problems. My hot water heater is hooked up to the same switch as my light for the bathroom, so if I turn it off I will have no hot water. Unfortunately, If I leave it own, the hole bathroom steams up into a
very wet mess. Everything dripping with water. The solution. Wake up two hours early, so the hot water
can heat up, and I can take a shower. Well, I met two of my friends at the bus station along with my
neighbor who I did not know was my neighbor at the time. We rode out to another temple and met Bright. It is called the lesser Polata and is a smaller Replica of the Dali Lamas residence. If this is smaller, I can not imagine how large the one in Tibet is. We looked around and spun some prayer wheels and flapped flags. She told me the names of all the different Buddhas and what they meant. The most prominent one is the long life Buddha. He is the one that sits Indian style and is extremely skinny from Meditation. I also 700 year old tapestries that depicted all of the different aspects of hell. What every you did to another person comes back to you in hell. Men were being boiled in oil, others had there heads cut off, warriors were shot with arrows or stabbed. The funnies was a chicken who had a knife in his mouth and was getting ready to slice open the butchers neck for killing him. I.E. that is why Buddhist are vegetarians as they do not want there meals to come back and haunt them in the afterlife. She also showed me a statue of a goddess who used to be a prostitute. She had hundreds of lovers. In order to rectify her sinful ways, Buddha told her to marry the King of the Devils and kill him. She married him and bore two children by him. After she gained his trust she cut his head off. She also decapitated her two daughters for fear that they would grow up to be like their father. However, since the king of the devils was very powerful, he could still
run and move his body as could her children. In an effort that the devil and her children could not find
their heads, she strung them around her neck and wore them as a necklace. However, she felt bad about
chopping the heads off her children, so she killed two demons and put those heads on her children. The
hopped on her mule, and they rode off together. She still continues to kill demons and devils, and she
wears all of their heads as necklaces, so they will not be able to be reunited with their bodies. Bright
also showed me how to pray before statues as they all haves mats in order to do so. You take your hands from by your side and bring them together above your head as if you are making a sun then as the hands come together you bring them down in front of you. You then bow on you knees and you bow down but you put your arms out with your palms facing towards the sky. You bow three times then come up and you bring your hands together at your head and say Om then to your chest and say Ah, and into your stomach and say Hong. You then return to your knees bow and repeat the process for three times. This is fine, but not if your knee is sore as mine was. The temple had two beautiful twin pagodas that were covered in several hundred thousand golden buddhas that each had there own individual niches. We looked at several of the exhibits and she told me that we you die and you are ready to be reincarnated you drink a soup which makes you forget your past life. She showed me a tapestry which depicted it. When you are reincarnated it is like a wheel. You step into a dooe as a person and come out as a horse, animal, person, etc.. There are six branches that you can be reincarnated as, but I do not remember them all. We eventually left the temple and went to lunch. I decided to treat. It was a little expensive. Sixteen dollars to feed all six of us, but it was a good meal. We had many dished, The best were made out of vegetables. I am thinking that one is squash and the other eggplant, but she said that they were both the same type just a different color. She looked it up on her pocket translator, and it was some French vegetables. It was absolutely fabulous. We also had salad, and a gooey flower based dish that was
amazing. Had tofu strips that were good. Small Pancakes, fried sweet potatoes cover in either caramel
or molasses, and the most amazing egg roll ever. You could actually understand why it is called an eggroll.
The shell is actually a thinly fried egg that is wrapped around the veggies inside. We also had rice soup which I do not really care for. Then everyone drinks hot tea which does not really need any sugar.
It was delectable. Bright told me that she was only going to be here for another week or two as she is
getting ready to move to Australia. She wants to work over there and then become a missionary of Buddhism. I guess that will work. We went to a couple of stores together along with the other members of our group then I said adieu and started home. Did some bargaining and bought a few Communist memorabilia things. I stocked up on water then came home and read. I am getting ready to go to lunch right now and try some more delicious food. It is cold as crap out right now, and the restaurant is not very well heated. I will have to take my coat with me. The restaurant is across the street from my apartment. I really want to try some of the street food. I just have not got the nerve to do so yet. Maybe this weekend. I should tell you that you should never get lost in a medical college as it can be quite strange. I went into a building yesterday and was searching for the English department which is also the classroom building for all of the doctors. Well low and behold, I take a wrong turn and end in a room full of corpses. The were all covered with red sheets. It was quite disgusting. I am not sure if they were frozen or not, and I did not want to stick around to find out. Unfortunately, they were also located next to the public restrooms of the University, so it kind of smelled awful. I have also had the unfortunate
experience of using the public restroom and will not do so again. The urinal is a trough which I am gine
with as the Columbia Country fairgrounds used to have a trough, but the toilet was a big drain with a hole that led into the ground. There does not seem to be any running water that flushes it out, so it smelled just terrible. I wanted to vomit. I do not think that I want to have to use another Public Urinal again. I could not imagine being a female. What the hell would you do? I guess that you would squat, but if I had a pussy, I would not want it to be anywhere near those drains. Holes in the ground are the most common. I used a three hundred year old toilet at one of the Temples. It is a big square hole in the ground that runs through the wall and goes out the side of the building and down the Mountain. Not very sanitary, but I suppose that you do whatever works best. I must say that it is learning the simple things in life which are making me happy. Like yesterday, I finally remembered to ask Laura what to do with my trash as I just did not know where to put it. She finally told me that there was a hole in the mall on the stairwell that I could dump it in. This has made life so much more easier. I just wish that cleaning the bathroom was as easy. That is the only drawback to my apartment. Everything else is fine, and I like my little apartment. I have a large bedroom then on the other side of the bathroom is a very large living room. I have an Asian sofa and two Asian lounge chairs. I also have a large kitchen and washing room. Unfortunately, no one left me any clothes line to dry my underwear. Everything else will be getting drycleaned as I do not care for stiff clothes. My soft socks are no longer soft anymore. Oh well, my
stomach is calling. Must eat. Did not have any super last night. Too tired to go out and get any after
teaching for four hours strait. I really like my schedule though. It works out nicely for me. I may
get you to help me think of some topics and activities for my classes. There are twenty one weeks,
so I need twenty one topics and activities to discuss. Oh well, I will talk to you later.

Christopher

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