Friday, August 11, 2006

Someone should make a movie about this

"For most nomads, television remains an unimaginable luxury, while a motorcycle is a potentially life-altering possession."

That's from Jim Yardley's New York Times article, The 2-wheeled nomads of Tibet, which describes how many Tibetan nomads in Qinghai are exchanging their horses for motorcycles:

But an unexpected necessity here in the immense grasslands of the Tibetan plateau are the six motorcycles on display, including the Asiahero Alt 150-7 bought by a nomad named Trashi Dorjay. He had traveled almost 320 kilometers, or 200 miles, to the store from his tent because he wanted a bike to herd his sheep and yaks.

"I used to ride a horse," he explained. "A motorcycle is faster."

At altitudes of 4,300 meters, or 14,000 feet, or even higher, in the range of the immense, mountainous grasslands in Qinghai Province, in western China, have become motorcycle country.

With a motorcycle now sometimes cheaper than a horse, ethnic Tibetan nomads scattered across the region are buying them not just as necessity but also as status symbols. The dingy truck-stop towns along the highway are swarming with Tibetans on motorcycles. Read on...


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