Bearded from travel, I think I look like I've been distant places, done big things over this long summer. Where am I telling people I've been? Nepal and Tibet get most of the report. I'm careful not to claim any spiritual epiphanies I didn't have around Kailash - in my somewhat disappointingly nerdy way, my insights were second-order, third-person - but there's no question that spending that time in vast, occupied Western Tibet was powerful and disturbing, and that Kailash, humming with circumambulators, has now, if belatedly, become a fixed point in my geography if not my cosmology. But it was my first real stint in Nepal, too, where I had a more personal and full-bodied encounter with mountains and people, and the two experiences abut each other, as Nepal and China do at that strangest of borderlands, Kasa/Zhangmu. Don't be too surprised if I wind up back there sometime... More pressing decision for the moment: how much of the beard do I keep?