El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

Ripley's Believe or Not! @ Genting

June 23, 2013 2

Falling books, done two ways

Falling books, done two ways

Rinpoche took a group of us to Genting yesterday for a delicious dinner and a short break. Rinpoche often has these impromptu trips in appreciation of hardworking students, and they’re always lots of fun…why WOULDN’T you WANT to spend more time with your lama?

One of the things we toured was the Ripley’s Believe or Not exhibit, which Rinpoche insisted we see after going into the funhouse (which was hilarious, dizzying and extremely creepy if you knew what was in there…well, throughout Genting really).

To give you an indication of how old I am (!), I grew up watching Dean Cain a.k.a. Superman hosting the show and some of the weird and wonderful things that he presented really were captivating, so it was fun to finally get to see an actual Ripley’s exhibit.

It was as I expected – interactive, interesting but poorly maintained. Rusted paint, stuff falling off their hinges, creaky rotating devices…and someone should really teach the staff the value of glass cleaning liquid! There were also some mistakes in the explanations like an Tibetan exhibit mislabelled as West African…not that I’ve anything against that, but it just seems odd to make mistakes in what’s meant to be an educational exhibit.

A dorje and the five Dhayani Buddhas...not African!

A dorje and the five Dhyani Buddhas…not African!

But there was enough of the interesting to make me want to do further research…like the man born with blue skin! Or the guy who was a human unicorn? How about the guy with two pupils per eyeball?! It really brings home what could’ve happened to us during the gestation period, and how lucky we were to escape it all. Want to complain you’re too fat / too short? Imagine having a horn growing out of the back of your head, being born as a woman with a beard, or being the kid who grew to be one tonne in weight…then tell me you’ve got a weight problem! 😉

And what prompted that guy to shove a snake up his nostrils, and down and out of his mouth?!

Apologies for the manic look on my face...

Apologies for the manic look on my face…this geek was actually really quite happy to be there

The exhibition also demonstrated just how far humankind has come since the Medieval Ages when torture and superstition were de rigueur, and how much further mankind still has left to go. Did you know women in certain African tribes wore labrets in an effort to make themselves so unattractive, they were not worthwhile for marauding Arab hordes to kidnap and enslave? And others would make spike-lined collars to fit around a prisoner’s neck during transportation, so any movement (let alone an attempted escape!) was impossible without tearing the flesh from their necks?

Mmmmmm yum!

All of this beggars the inevitable question – whyyyyy do that to someone else who only wants the same things as you (happiness and to avoid suffering)? And why do it, only to have it done back to you later, because you’ve upset people who want to get revenge? And why do it and say that it’s tradition and a way of life? Just because it’s tradition, doesn’t mean it’s right!

For a decent collection of things to widen your knowledge and challenge your outlook of the world, check out Ripley’s Believe or Not…because if you’re already in Genting, trust me, it’s a damn sight better than the unspeakably awful Snow World!

Tsem Rinpoche, Gifts

2 Comments → “Ripley’s Believe or Not! @ Genting”

  1. There's No Way But Up! 6 years ago   Reply

    It was fun huh?! It’s one of the best shows I have seen in a long while. If I am ever in Genting again, I wanna go see it again and this time read everything… Hehe!

    • Jim Yeh 6 years ago   Reply

      David. We should go the next time I visit. We could be the “exhibits”

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