National Geographic : 1955 Jul
34 Main Street, Lhasa: A Bustling Hub Where Luxuries Tempt and Pilgrims Pray "I never ceased to wonder at the variety of goods in Lhasa bazaars," the author writes. "Vendors offer American cosmetics, Swiss watches, Chinese silks, and aluminum pots from India, all imported on yak-back." A bareheaded girl leads a child past towers of kitchenware. Seated vendor (center) sells Tibetan books, loose, block-printed pages in wooden covers. Tibet's "Outer Country Work House" (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) stands at right. The unpaved Barkhor, ringing Lhasa's cathedral, ranks as a holy walk. The command opened the gates of the Dalai Lama's sanctum, the Inner Garden, at Jewel Park. Assembling Lhasa's best craftsmen and sol diers, I converted a vacant building into a theater 60 feet long. The projection equip ment was installed in the annex. The Dalai Lama thought the hum of mod ern machinery might annoy the old Regent, so we built a powerhouse some distance from the theater. The Government had provided a motor and generator, but I doubted whether the decrepit engine would last through the premiere. Tibet's trade delegation that visited the United States in 1948 had returned with a disassembled jeep among its souvenirs. The jeep was put together, given one trial run, then set to work in the Government mint near Lhasa. I suggested we commandeer the jeep as an auxiliary power unit, and the Dalai Lama quickly approved.