On Thursday evenings I go to a history of Buddhism class for Tibetan students taught by my advisor here at Minzu University. Last night, after the class, which goes from 7-10 pm, I decided to walk around the West Gate to clear my head. After three hours of my professor discussing in Tibetan (and with a very strong regional accent) the 12 deeds of the life of the Buddha, the 4 noble truths, the 3 councils, the 18 Buddhist schools, and the 3 main vehicles of the Buddhist tradition (Buddhists really like lists…), I needed a break.
It’s amazing how lively the school is at night, much more than at UVa (aside from the bars). There are lots of food stands, street sellers, small coffee and tea shops, and students are all over the place getting a late dinner, a snack, or simply walking around with their friends. Here is a sample of what you can find on any night around the West Gate, which is just 5 minutes from our house.