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October 27, 2006

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We still like you. Hell, we knit stuff for you, don't we? :-)

Peets is opening another location very soon (they're just finishing the interior) right across the street from my shop. I've yet to try their Pu-ehr, but I'm a big fan of some of their other teas (drinking Irish Breakfast now) and tisanes (the Lemon Rose, oh! the Lemon Rose). How's your Peet's supply holding out? Are you ready for another transfusion?

Konchog: you seem to have conflated two different trips I made into one. I visited Yinchuan, as the capital of the ancient Xi Xia (Tangut) kingdom is now known, last spring. See http://www.doncroner.com/2006/02/china-ningxia-province-yinchuan-and-xi.html My latest trip was to Xian, capital of the Tang Dynasty and eastern terminus of the Silk Road. The Big Goose Pagoda was built in 648 A.D. by Crown Prince Gao Zong of the Tang Dynasty and was used to hold the stash of sutras brought back to Xian from India by seminal Chinese pilgrim and inveterate gadabout Xuanzang. See http://www.doncroner.com/2006/07/china-gansu-province-lanzhou.html; http://www.doncroner.com/2005/12/india-nalanda-university.html; and http://www.doncroner.com/2005/12/india-rajgir-vultures-peak-kalachakra.html; The Little Goose Pagoda was built between 707 AD and 709 AD, during the reign of Emperor Jing Tong. It too was used to house sutras brought back from India. Neither of these structures have anything to do with the Xi Xia. I also visited the Xing Jiao Temple 18 miles south of Xian where the remains of Xuanzang’s earthly coil are now kept in another pagoda.

Although Chingis and the Mongols did finally destroy the Xi Xia empire it was not without a price, at least according to one version of Chingis’s death. According to this account the Xi Xia empress had been captured alive by Chingis’s troops and presented to Chingis as war booty. Realizing that she was about to be raped by Chingis she inserted into her vagina a ring-like device bisected by a razor-sharp blade. Thus when Chingis entered her he suffered a partial peotomy, and it was from this grievous wound that he finally died. It would be ironic indeed if the Great Swordsman had in fact been laid low by such an infernal device.

Addenda: For tea on Beijing check out Maliando Tea Street. See http://www.doncroner.com/2005/12/china-beijing-maliandao-tea-street.html. Just last week this year’s harvest of Tie Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) oolong tea reached the stores in Maliando. This is an event which in the tea world rivals the first uncorking of the year’s Nouveau Beaujolais for oenophiles. Unlike puerh, oolong tea should be used when fresh.

Actually, the unwrapped tea looks more like old insulation than a cow paddy, so I'll take your word for it that it's tasty. Actually, that tea wrapped up in an orange peal sounds good. I might try that sometime....

And as for the story of Chingi Khan's death...ouch! Despite the fact I'm a monk and will therefore never experience that particular torment, I had to cross my legs when I read that.

Tenren Tea ( has carried Pu-erh tea for a while now. It's reasonalby priced (if you are in the States, that is. Don't know if they to Mongolia.) I also love their Ti Kuan Yin.

Thank you for your eloquent description of what you were going through. I've always found it a difficult thing to express to others, especially the inertia, and the negative filter. I think your writing will help many people.

More on Xuanzang, who is buried near Xian. You gotta love this guy!

Lama Konchog, keep up the good work! This may only be the beginning.

Well, I'll be. Brother Don has demonstrated that HTML tags function in the comments. I had no idea.

OK, testing, testing...

Huh. Excellent!

Yes, I was just testing too. I really did not think anyone wanted to know any more about Xuanzang.

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Mongolia Bird List: "L" = Lifer

  • Amur Falcon -- L
  • Arctic (Hoary) Redpoll -- L
  • Arctic Warbler -- L
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher -- L
  • Asian Dowitcher -- L
  • Asian Short-toed Lark -- L
  • Azure Tit -- L
  • Bank Swallow
  • Bar-headed Goose -- L
  • Barn Swallow
  • Bean Goose -- L
  • Black Grouse -- L
  • Black Stork -- L
  • Black Woodpecker -- L
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Black-eared Kite -- L
  • Black-headed Gull -- L
  • Black-tailed Godwit -- L
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Blyth's Pipit -- L
  • Bohemian Waxwing -- L
  • Booted Eagle -- L
  • Brown Shrike -- L
  • Carrion Crow
  • Chinese Penduline Tit -- L
  • Chukar -- L
  • Cinereous Vulture
  • Citrine Wagtail -- L
  • Coal Tit
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Greenshank -- L
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Merganser
  • Common Pochard -- L
  • Common Raven
  • Common Redpoll
  • Common Redshank -- L
  • Common Rosefinch -- L
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Common Shelduck -- L
  • Common Snipe -- L
  • Common Starling
  • Common Swift
  • Common Tern
  • Crested Lark -- L
  • Curlew Sandpiper -- L
  • Dark-throated Thrush -- L
  • Daurian Jackdaw -- L
  • Daurian Partridge -- L
  • Daurian Redstart -- L
  • Demoiselle Crane -- L
  • Desert Warbler -- L
  • Desert Wheatear -- L
  • Dusky Thrush -- L
  • Dusky Warbler -- L
  • Eared Grebe
  • Eurasian Bullfinch -- L
  • Eurasian Coot -- L
  • Eurasian Curlew -- L
  • Eurasian Griffon
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Eurasian Jay
  • Eurasian Nutcracker -- L
  • Eurasian Nuthatch -- L
  • Eurasian Skylark
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Eurasian Spoonbill -- L
  • Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker -- L
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Eurasian Treecreeper -- L
  • Eurasian Wigeon -- L
  • Eurasian Wryneck -- L
  • Eyebrowed Thrush -- L
  • Falcated Duck -- L
  • Fork-tailed Swift -- L
  • Gadwall
  • Garganey -- L
  • Godlewski's Bunting -- L
  • Goldcrest -- L
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gray Heron
  • Gray Wagtail -- L
  • Great Cormorant
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Great Gray Shrike -- L
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Great Tit
  • Greater Short-toed Lark -- L
  • Greater Spotted Eagle -- L
  • Green Sandpiper -- L
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Greenish Warbler -- L
  • Hawfinch -- L
  • Hazel Grouse -- L
  • Hen/Northern Harrier
  • Herring Gull
  • Hill Pigeon -- L
  • Hoopoe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Horned Lark
  • House Sparrow
  • Isabelline Shrike -- L
  • Isabelline Wheatear -- L
  • Kentish (Snowy) Plover -- L
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker -- L
  • Lesser Whitethroat -- L
  • Little Bunting -- L
  • Little Owl -- L
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Long-tailed Rosefinch
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Long-toed Stint -- L
  • Mallard
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Meadow Bunting -- L
  • Mew Gull -- L
  • Mongolian Finch -- L
  • Mongolian Ground-jay -- L
  • Mongolian Lark -- L
  • Northern Lapwing -- L
  • Northern Pintail
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Olive-backed Pipit -- L
  • Oriental Plover -- L
  • Oriental Reed Warbler -- L
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Pacific Golden-plover -- L
  • Paddyfield Warbler -- L
  • Pallas' Reed Bunting -- L
  • Pallas's Leaf Warbler -- L
  • Pallas's Sandgrouse -- L
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Pied Avocet -- L
  • Pied Wheatear -- L
  • Pine Bunting -- L
  • Pine Grosbeak -- L
  • Pintail Snipe -- L
  • Red (Common) Crossbill
  • Red-billed Chough -- L
  • Red-crested Pochard -- L
  • Red-flanked Bluetail -- L
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Red-throated Flycatcher -- L
  • Richard's Pipit -- L
  • Rock Dove
  • Rock Sparrow -- L
  • Rook -- L
  • Ruddy Shelduck -- L
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Ruff -- L
  • Rufous-tailed Robin -- L
  • Saker Falcon -- L
  • Scaly Thrush -- L
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper -- L
  • Siberian Accentor -- L
  • Siberian Rubythroat -- L
  • Smew -- L
  • Spotted Flycatcher -- L
  • Spotted Redshank -- L
  • Steppe Eagle -- L
  • Swan Goose -- L
  • Temminck's Stint -- L
  • Thick-billed Warbler -- L
  • Tree Pipit -- L
  • Tufted Duck -- L
  • Twite -- L
  • Upland Buzzard -- L
  • Ural Owl -- L
  • Water Pipit -- L
  • White Wagtail
  • White-cheeked Starling -- L
  • White-naped Crane -- L
  • White-winged (Two-barred) Crossbill -- L
  • White-winged Scoter
  • White-winged Tern -- L
  • Whooper Swan -- L
  • Willow Tit -- L
  • Wood Sandpiper -- L
  • Yellow-billed Grosbeak -- L
  • Yellow-browed (Inornate) Warbler -- L