On the streets of Shangri-la, you see many older Tibetan women wearing traditional Tibetan clothing. Many of them carry vegetables in baskets on their backs to cook on grills in the square and sell to people like me who do not expect them to be as spicy as they are. They carry their Buddhist prayer beads with them and run them through their hands. It reminds me of Catholics praying with a rosary. It's really cool to see the blending of the old and new right next to each other. You don't see that in Beijing, and I think that's one of the reasons I like Shangri-la better.
One day, I was walking home with Carrie and Tara and a group of about 5 or 6 Tibetan women were approaching us. They had their prayer beads in their hands and they although they were speaking, they didn't appear to be speaking to one another. Could they have been praying? Well how the heck should I know? I don't speak Chinese or Tibetan.
As the group of women walked past us, the first woman grabbed my wrist and said something. So, that was weird...but whatever. The next woman grabbed my boob and said something. Luckily, none of the other women grabbed anything. I'm not really sure what they would've grabbed next but based on how quickly things escalated from wrist to boob, I don't think I want to find out what would've been next.
I asked Andy if there was any possible cultural significance to that event. I was pretty sure of the answer, but hey you never know. He said there wasn't any significance to his knowledge. Some things transcend cultural boundaries. So an old lady grabbing your boob on the streets of Shangri-la is exactly the same as an old lady grabbing your boob on the streets of America: weird.