Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shimla

Sorry it's been a month late in coming but here's the next update in the India saga that was most of my summer. In this installment we'll take a look at the beautiful Himalayan town of Shimla in pictures and anecdotes. Feel free to click on the images to enlarge them to their full size.


Ahhh...Shimla, a truly beautiful, cool town and I mean that both in temperature and state of being.

There always seemed to be something going on up on "The Ridge" near the church. This couple was dancing to the song the man behind them was singing acapella. I love the look on this dude's face, so typical of this area, the men chasing the women and the women seemingly indifferent.

Mmmmm...Chicken Tikka with some stuffed Kulcha on the side...I miss you

Here's my British classmate and study partner/drinking buddy being attacked by a random roaming cow. Yes, it may look as though he's just stroking ole Bessy behind the ears but tis not so. Actually Bessy got rather annoyed when Stephen stood in front of her to take her picture so she, wishing she had horns, rammed her head into his belly basically telling him to piss off, lol, moody cow.

Here's Stephen with Naveen, our Koenig trainer, in our classroom. Stephen's going for the grandaddy of all Koenig courses, the MCSE career track, which is a 3 month intensive program and Naveen gets the pleasure of being his trainer for the whole time...at the end of which they will either be fast friends or one of them will lay bleeding and dying on the floor.

As I mentioned Shimla is cool, even downright cold at night which surprised me everyone kept saying how hot India was going to be, but not in the mountains it ain't. So being that all I had with me were Saipan clothes I had to buy a jacket, hat and some long pants. So here's me taking a picture of my new getup in the mirror of the fancyass Clark Hotel where we had an outrageously overpriced dinner.

Here's a picture of some Chicken Masala which I'm pretty sure was responsible for my next four days of absolute agony. I dunno how else to explain it except to say that it felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach after which time my backside would literally explode. At the time I was going through a roll of toilet paper per day.

We came across this guy and his herd of water buffalo on the way to Hatu Peak. In order for our car to pass he forced his flock up onto the precipitous hillside, where they started to slip and stumble...I was sure one of them was going to roll down that hill into our car.

Here I am at the top of Hatu Peak (3400 meters). I was still suffering from some gastrointestinal issues when we reached the summit so for the first time in my life I was forced to find a tree, squat, and spend some quality time communing with nature. That smile is a giant grin of relief!

No, don't worry they haven't been shot in the head, they're just the rarely encountered British Hindu, also known as Rob and Stephen. Stephen had a habit of rubbing his forehead thus smearing red dot all over his brow.

On the way back to Delhi from Shimla I had a ten hour bus ride which was made even longer by the fact that we suddenly ran into a landslide on one of those steep, and I do mean steep, switchback mountain roads. So, our intrepid bus driver, stopped the coach, sighed, picked up a sledgehammer he kept on hand for just such an occasion and started whacking away. After he tired some of the other passengers would take a few turns smacking at the rock to make a path for our bus. I offered my services but he took one look at me and insisted that I sit and watch, now I know I'm a pretty big wuss but something in his demeanor made me think that I had probably paid 5 times as much as the other passengers...ah well, such is India.

Finally we were able to squeeze the old Volvo "Luxury Coach" through and it was on to Delhi...or so we thought...

Unfortunately it was not to be, we got about an hour outside of Delhi when the bus broke down. The bus driver told everyone to get out, opened the doors to the luggage hold, pointed south and basically said "Delhi's that way" before flagging down one of the overcrowded local buses which miraculously absorbed him and the rest of the Indian passengers leaving me and the two Dutch fellows sitting on side of the road in the middle of Whoknowswhere, India staring at half a dozen guys who didn't have a full set of teeth between them but who did manage enough English to say "You go Delhi?" "2000 rupee!" sigh...Ai Adai...

India Quote of the Day:

"Yes"

-it's the default answer to every question regardless of whether its true or not...Can I have some more toilet paper? "Yes" Is this really chicken? "Yes" Do you have any beer besides Kingfisher? "Yes" Do you secretly enjoy dressing in womens clothing at night when no one else is around? slight pause..."Yes?"

3 comments:

Jeff said...

Maybe Marv Alber is originally from India.


Looks like you're having quite the adventure.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

It wasn't the Chicken Marsala, it was the stainless steel dishes.

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