Posted by: John Hall | December 14, 2008

Competing with Wood

“For the Khampas, there are three kinds of men in the world:  the porap is a strong man who crosses the mountain passes to make a name for himself, and who strives to improve his lot in life.  The poting is an average man who makes himself a home, worries about the necessities of life, and ‘competes with wood’ – an inanimate object – to ensure his own victory and so as not to be embarrassed by being outdone.  The pota is a weak man who stays at home and sits by the fire arguing with his mother.”

From The Ancient Tea Horse Road by Jeff Fuchs



  1. Well, I think I know which kind of man I would like to be =>porapting (porap + poting).

    I wonder if most men would fall into at least two, if not all three, of the categories depending on the particular day, hour, or minute.

    Can one make a home as well as cross mountains?

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