Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Dalai Lama has a famous speech about "never give up."

Here it is. But it's nonsense. Sometimes giving up is exactly the right thing.

2 free days in McLeod Ganj, before the teachings by HHDL himself. Beautiful scenery, and a motorcycle rental shop just out of town. Wonderful! I grab my sunglasses and head down.

I was just trying to convince my friend Jay that anyone can motorcycle, given two things: a light bike (preferably an automatic scooter/moped), and good roads. Leh has been pretty good for both (Bajaj Pulsar 150 on mostly good pavement), and Chiang Mai was amazing (Honda scooter on US-quality pavement). McLeod Ganj is... the other direction. The shop only had oldish heavy Royal Enfield Bullet 350's. And the main road from McLeod to Dharamsala is kinda rough, but the back way, where this shop is, is really quite mental. The good parts look rather like this.
I would post photos of the bad parts, but Mom and Dad are probably already freaked the heck out.

And so, after laying down the bike twice on the way down, I decided to ignore the Dalai Lama, cut my losses, and probably save my life. Think I'll go back and sit in a coffeeshop, apply to grad school, and scrupulously avoid extrapolating this incident into a bigger story about myself.

(on the way back, I awkwardly walk into a tea shop containing only a couple having a very intense conversation. *sigh* it's a day.)

EDIT: this evening I met a guy who rode one of those same Royal Enfield Bullet 350s from Manali to Leh to Kashmir to Dharamsala. Inspiring! Maybe someday...

Also, I forgot to send out waves of gratitude for the ~6 people who helped me pick up my bike, pull it out of a roadside ditch, get it started, etc. along the rather short way. Thank you thank you thank you!


  1. Cool bike. I didn't know the Dalai Lama rode a Royal Enfield 350. I also didn't know that the Royal Ten Seas Lad laid down his Royal Enfield twice! Yipes.
    You showed enlightenment in ending the adventure early.
    Hope your picture was from a helmet cam or stopped location :-0. I can only imagine the "bad" roads.

  2. That road looks a 'little' rough. It's good to see that you're practising 'Touching the Earth'. Six people helped u from the ground, which happens to be the number of times you're supposed to touch the earth. Throughout this trip, you've had some good people come to your aid when u needed it. The Universe must have a little Guardian watching over you.

  3. Hmm, yes. "Touching the Earth" has been really quite enlightening indeed. Just don't tell me that there's another Buddhist practice called "Falling off a cliff" :)

    Seriously, though, I have felt very safe, and very helped in general by most folks around here. Especially if you're in a rough spot, there are always people around to help. I only wish I could return the favor.