The town of Litang lies in the middle of extensive grasslands at high altitude. Around it there are no rocky summits to be seen, just the relief of undulating hills covered by grass and no trees. These days of early August are the time when an important horse racing festival is held around the town, calling nomadic people from a large area to take part in, or be a spectator of the sporting events.
While having breakfast accompanied by rich butter tea, a Japanese traveller and I make plans for the day. Yaseku is desperate to know the exact starting time of the races, as if it he was talking of a train expected to depart on the dot, but the contradictory answers he receives are an obvious sign that there is no schedule. I tell him, but he goes on undeterred and becomes all the more frustrated by unaccountable as well as deplorable vagueness. In the end I manage to talk him into finally taking a taxi to the racing grounds, leaving behind schedules and other fetters inherited from a mindset that doesn’t go hand in hand with the local conception of time and plans, maybe of life itself.