As soon as I am at the border checkpoint, I get back on my bus and leave the golden building behind me. To the right and left of the road, a hilly landscape spreads, densely overgrown in a thousand different shades of green.
From the center of Lhasa, I fight my way to the station. The train station square is vast. To get to the entrance I have to walk in serpentine lines across the square, through two security checkpoints and into a separate building to get my ticket.
I have read so many old texts and stories, but I only understood how it feels to be thrown around a carriage for twenty kilometres, since I drove from Pokhara to Phedi, unbelted and in the back seat, with an annoyed taxi driver. Memorable.