I asked the driver if he would let us off before we came in sight of the Potala. After two-and-a-half months, most of it walking, on the route from Chengdu to Lhasa, it felt appropriate to enter the city on foot. The mountains now ahead of us looked familiar; I was certain they were the same ones I had seen in old photographs of the city. The bus rumbled down through a narrow canyon and we were afraid that the driver wouldn’t remember my request until it was too late. With increasing nervousness, I worried that we would pop out of the canyon only to see the Potala for the first time from our seats on the ancient, rickety bus.
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