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The Road Ahead

Lhasa: backstreet girls

After a couple of days to wind down discussions in Lhasa it’s time to say mata ne to the research crew – next we meet is ten days from now in a Malaysian border town. Who is doing what? One of the team has a sojourn in his home own of Helsinki – in Finland you earn the right to long hours of summer sunlight the hard way; two of the team will form an advance party to arrange logistics for the next study – there are after all a multitude of locations to scout; participants to recruit; assistants to train; and a mobile office to set up. Everyone needs a bit of down-time – working more than two weeks straight isn’t smart for anyone’s sanity.

And yours truly? Time to step figuratively and literally off the grid: Lhasa is a good start to any journey and road blocks, travel permits and the odd hustle permitting – will hopefully backtrack over the Tibetian Plateau, skirt the southern rim of the Taklamakan Desert all the way up to the remote mountainous border with Pakistan. Recent events in Xinjiang province and the consequent clamp down on the internet/communications make it a difficult destination to resist. That and the paranoia that comes from disputed-border regions. See you on the other side.

Photo? Lhasa yoot dancing to the instant-mr-dj-beats of a strangers mobile phone.