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Epilogue

Farang, I have a question for you: do we have a happy ending? I myself cannot decide, but it might help your deliberation if I share with you yet another anonymous package which arrived a couple of days ago. It is a single yellow Tibetan prayer flag, which has been unstitched to reveal the tiny paper prayer within. The prayer is in Tibetan and Chinese script; fortunately, the anonymous sender has provided a translation in English and Thai. I am not an expert, but I would guess the incantation to be unusual:

Hey, China, stop being stupid!

Dont go down this road anymore!

Look at the West. It may be confused, but it has been down this road of yours and has much to teach: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, Nixon, Botha. And theres a guy called Mao you really need to study more deeply. Know who they all were, these guys? They were the direct cultural products of Clive, Palmerston, Kitchener, Curzon, Younghusband: the kind of guys Marx hated most in all the world. Remember Marx?

Monocultures with iron fists dont last very long these days. Better get yourself some variety if you want to survive.

Things are looking good for you at the moment, arent they? Did anyone explain the Third Reich was supposed to last a thousand years?

Listen, China, this is a new age we have here. Freedom isnt a theory anymore, it is an instinct people are born with. So is the longing for the transcendent. Nothing you can do about it: its even stronger than money!

Heres something from your own culture:

A cup of wine under the flowering trees;I drink alone, for no friend is near.Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon

Li Po is the greatest poet in world literature. He was also a Buddhist, by the way. So were the Emperor Wu of Han, Yao Xing, Cao Xueqin, Liu Ying, Li Shizhen, Commissioner Lin, and the Emperor Ming.

You better link up again with those guys if you want your good karma to continue. The way you treat my people is filling the Illustrious Ancestors with shame.

Let my people go, China. The alternative is too ugly to contemplate.

Om mani padme hum


| The Godfather of Kathmandu | SOURCES