Today is my third day in India. No I have not gotten sick, YET…… fingers still crossed. I did feel rather queasy all yesterday afternoon. I think it must have been the ghee in the mashed up spinach that I had for lunch. Settling in has taken rather longer than I had expected. I had booked myself at a hostel but it turns out it is quite a bit away from the yoga centre, so I decided to shift to stay at the centre. So, today I moved. Before I tell you about the moving, let me tell you where I am.
I am in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, home of the exiled 14th Dalai Lama, also known as little Lhasa. This town is at an elevation of about 2000m so everything is on a hill/ledge. As I have not explored, I can’t really say much about it yet except that the scenery is amazing and that pollution is high, very dusty and litter everywhere.
Now going back to moving, the school got me a porter to help me with my suitcase, I walked the porter to the hostel. He proceeded to pick my suitcase of about 17kg (it was about 20kg, but I had emptied some chargers and my laptop from it). I was carrying the laptop, chargers and some essentials I had bought here, I make it 4 kg. Remember I said everything is on a ledge? Well, first we proceed up a flight of stairs from the hostel to take us to the road. Then we took a “short cut”, which I had not walked before but I have been told consists of 280 steps!!!!!!! Now, I wouldn’t exactly call myself unfit, but…… I was ready to throw up by the time we got to the top!!!! He took about a 10 seconds break at the top of the stairs and off we went again. More up hill, perhaps about a half a km of uphill on a rather narrow road with vegetable, trinkets, pashmina and other stalls that line the road, cars and people trying to make their way to wherever they are going. Oh yes, I forgot to mention donkeys with loads.There is incessant honking by the cars to get people to give way. Usually people would have to stop to let the cars pass, yes it is that narrow and now I know why the cab that picked me up at the train station was a small one. Anything else is not going to work on streets here. Anyway more panting and we finally got to my new home for the next 2 months. I have put things away and am settling in, though I am too tired for any other activities after going into town again to get other necessities.
I have some photos to give you an idea of the place.Â This is a picture of the street that I am staying in now, though I get the nice mountain view not the street view! 🙂
Nearby, the Free Tibet flag flies high.
This one is the view from the balcony of the hostel that I was in, kinda looking towards where I am at now. I don’t know which building it is that I am at, but I expect it is in the picture somewhere.
In this next picture you can just make out the snow capped mountain. It goes in and out of view through the day depending on cloud cover.
When I got here, I saw many birds afar, flying in circles. I thought, eagles? I was totally unprepared for this fly by when I was at a cafe yesterday. This is a not very good shot, turned into B&W, you can sort of make out the silhouette. (Now, Felix are you going to tell me it is not an eagle?)
There are many road side stalls that sell colourful Tibetan wear like bags, scarfs, clothes, hats, socks and many more. But it is so dusty here that most things look old and dirty before they are sold! The things at this shop rather look more colourful and cleaner than the rest.
After some walking around yesterday, I stopped at a rest area. There were some elderly Tibetan people who were chatting. Then came a few young Indian men who were tourists and they had asked the Tibetans for a photograph. I had chanced at asking them for a photo too! I showed them the LCD display of the photo and the man on my left said “good” (I think), so maybe they speak a bit of English.
Have not really sampled local food yet, except for a capati with cabbage and mashed spinach I had yesterday. Other than that I have had stir fry vegetables, omelette and a Japanese meal, not very Indian or Tibetan!!! Most restaurant serve vegetarian dishes, and so far the places I have eaten at only served vegetarian. But I do see signs of shops that sell non vegetarian food.