On the afternoon of March 22, I decided to revisit the Tibetan neighborhood in Chengdu. I was overdue for a Tibetan meal with butter tea, and was wondering what the scene was like in that area given the escalation of violent protests which had occurred in Tibet and western China.
I was immediately struck by the heavy police presence, yet despite police cars with flashing lights every 50 meters and motorcycle cops buzzing back and forth, it seemed quiet. A giant police bus was parked across the street from the Tibetan restaurant where I ate. On the surface, it seemed like business as usual.
Butter tea is very salty. If I had made it to Tibet, I would’ve made an effort to acquire a taste for it. Instead, I focused on my yak dumplings and yak meat and green pepper stir fry – what turned out to be far too much food for me. Then again, how often does one get to eat yak?