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Monks Like Pringles Too

September 6, 2010

Walking next to us is a monk in a thick red robe.  We have a bag of local bread bought that morning and offer him some.  He’s not interested in the bread, but wants to take our tube of Pringles instead.  We bought the Pringles in a moment of weakness when we couldn’t bear the thought of eating more yak: yak meat, yak dumplings, yak butter tea, yak cheesecake.  Yak tastes like it smells, like animal.  Specifically an animal with long stringy hair that’s never been washed, with clumps of dirt and poop dangling down in freaky dread-locks that feeds on scrappy shrubs struggling to grow on the side of a rocky mountain.

The monk takes the tube of Pringles from Gabrielle’s hand and starts walking away without a word of goodbye or thanks, no break in the dead calm on his face – like it’s a donation.  Luckily he’s not a fast walker and Gabrielle is scrappy so she grabs it back.  She doesn’t give him the dressing down he would receive if we were at home.  She pops the cap off the tube with a luscious whoosh of escaping canned air and offers him a few, but he’s far less interested in a few chips than the whole pack.  Finally he’s persuaded to take a couple and continues on his way.  The poor guy is probably tired of yak too. 

This happened on my first trip to Tibet about 9 years ago with my sister Gabrielle

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian permalink
    September 7, 2010 4:01 pm

    Aren’t you supposed to just feed the monks, no question asked? – he can take whatever he wants? Funny that Gab took the can back.

    • September 8, 2010 11:45 am

      Well, if I was a proper buddhist I would have handed them over no questions asked. But as you know I’m a heathen. Gab has no such excuse.

      • Gabrielle Steed permalink
        September 10, 2010 12:39 am

        Were they really pringles? I thought it was a bag of buns???? I do remember the tricky monk though, trying to get us off his track by going into a store….or was that us trying to lose him by going into a store? Ian, maybe I am sometimes a little more compassionate, but not when I’m sick of eating yak tasting things! Cool pictures Sariah. Wasn’t it Ganden monastery that we went to before? Did you have to sit up on the front dashboard of the bus again? Gab

  2. September 7, 2010 8:04 pm

    I love this story and such a fitting scene . Pringles forever!!!!!
    It makes me miss you and Gabrielle! Maybe we will rendevous
    in October? I will provide the Pringles!!! Lxo

  3. September 10, 2010 1:14 am

    Gab – yes I’m sure it was pringles. We had a bag of buns too, local food, and he just wasn’t interested. Only wanted the Pringles.

    Ganden’s the really cool monastery on the mountain. I went there again and mean to do a postbut haven’t finished writing it yet. The crazy road has been somewhat improved since we road on the dashboard!

    • Ian permalink
      September 19, 2010 10:35 pm

      riding in the dashboard? why not Peruvian style (on the roof)?

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