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+ Margaret Cho

Award-winning, wild and irreverent American comedian Margaret Cho is constantly on the go. But she paused long enough to tell PAUL EHRLICH what destination gets her high

Published on Jun 25, 2010

Margaret Cho

Tibet is surreal, trippy, dusty, beautiful, awesome, tragic, holy, unbelievable, unimaginable, foreign. For me, it is a migraine throbbing in my head like a heartbeat, my is thin in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which sits at about 3,000 meters above sea level, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from wanting to go there. They bring giant balloons filled with oxygen to your hotel room, and you can take hits of them just like they were bongs, but you don’t get high, because if you are in Tibet, you must already be high.

The most exciting spot in Lhasa is the Barkhor Square, which is a market, a meeting place, a destination unto itself. It reminded me of the mall, except instead of overly friendly employees greeting you at a Gap or a Sephora store, equally cheerful and aggressive vendors hawk human skulls and freshly butchered yak parts, but I promise it isn’t scary—not at all. It is mind-blowing. In the center of Barkhor Square is the Jokhang Temple—where the multiplex would be if this were your local shopping galleria. Pilgrims prostrate themselves in circles, 108 times, a real workout—all the while dragging bloodstained cardboard flats underneath their knees with bright smiles on their faces and god on the mind. The air is heavily perfumed with the aroma of yak butter candles, which smells just like movie theater popcorn, burning the mall metaphor even deeper into my mind, in my favorite place.


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