Our morning started with rain. I’d like to think that the place was mourning our departure. I was pretty excited about the breakfast buffet. It had been a while since we’d had a filling morning meal.

Chinese breakfast buffets are quite different from the ones we’re used to. It mainly consists of rice soup, six varieties of fried meat and veggies and bread. All these colorful dishes and still I went for some date bread, fried corn and orange juice.(served hot, of course). We excitedly got into the car, ready for the drive. Lhasa awaited us.

Over the span of three hours, we had experienced rainfall, sunny clear skies, a dust storm and snowfall. It was almost comical how quickly the weather changed and our eyes were glued to the temperature display, curious as to when the number would suddenly increase or decrease.

Lunch was eaten at this tiny Tibetan hole in the wall. Outside it was snowy, windy and cold. On the inside we warmed ourselves by the fire as we sipped hot tea. Besides the warm traditional Thukpa (tibetan noodle soup)  that was being served, we jumped with joy when we found something that resembled naan. It’s safe to say we were really missing Indian food….

As we ate, at the opposite table, I saw a kid no older than two years old take a puff of a cigarette Unbelievable. Everyone smokes here. There aren’t even laws that prohibit smoking in public places! Is it because they don’t know better? Why isn’t there an effort being made to increase awareness about the bad repercussions of cigarette smoking?

Somewhere along the way, we cane across a problem. Our brakes weren’t exactly doing their job correctly and we were in the middle of nowhere. Indifferent. My everlasting optimism kept me from panicking. We eventually made it to Lhasa safe and sound.

The sights and sounds of Lhasa at night time made me giddy with excitement. For a city girl like me, I felt completely at home. Luckily I’d have more time to explore Lhasa since we’d be staying there another day.

Almost as though the food gods had heard my prayer, we found out that there was a Nepalese restaurant a block away from the hotel. Daal and butter chicken left me overstuffed and satisfied. I was ready to hit the sack and call it a day when we passed a karaoke bar on our way back to the hotel. Guess who sang? I was practically forced on to the stage. As I started singing hotel California, a song no one probably understood, the crowd cheered for me like I was Madonna. All my inhibitions melted away and I felt foolish for being so shy in the first place. If anything is for sure, it’s than Tibetans know how to have a good time.