When I visited Lhasa, Tibet, it was one of those surreal experiences. I think it also had to do with the fact that I was walking at an elevation of close to 12,000 ft, and was light-headed most of the time from not enough oxygen. One of the most interesting things I did during the one-week visit, was try yak butter tea. I am not sure if the altitude sickness contributed to this, but I was very sensitive to many smells around me. When I was offered a cup of yak butter tea, my very expressive face almost gave itself away. But, I knew that the family that was offering us a cup of tea had a very simple life and this was a very kind gesture to offer a stranger. With a huge smile, and a very reluctant grasp, I dived right in and took a sip of the tea offered to me. At first I had no idea what I was drinking, but after it starting to sink in, and the rich taste of the yak butter saturated my tongue and mouth, I almost fainted. I guess it is a dense drink and the extra richness is necessary to help provide the extra calories to keep your body warm in the very cold temperature. Luckily, one of my traveling partners saw I was a bit in a bind and came to my rescue. I cannot say it was one of my favorite drinks, but will remember it when I think of Lhasa.
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