Friday, 13 November 2015

India adventure—the 21st country I have visited (1)

2nd Indigenous Terra Madre – International Mei Ramew – 3-7 November 2015 – Shillong, India

How was it? Well, what should I say? It was incredibly and surprisingly amazing. It’s just that I have to be really careful with my expectation. Disappointment is caused by the distance between expectation and reality. The bigger the gap, the more disappointment will be. Maybe the main problem of me-myself is that I came to India from Europe. From Denmark, where everything is organized, calm, peaceful, more punctual, and natural to plain taste. So, I welcome myself to the advanced journey in India, a place where it can really challenge your physical, mental and spiritual experience. I really suggest India for those who are advanced in travelling, not just touristing! Because it is literally incredible!

Welcome to Delhi Airport

The journey began

It was Sunday morning at 8 am, I had to leave my apartment towards Copenhagen airport. I was sent by my Lab to this event with my colleague named Jonas. From Copenhagen, we took Lufthansa to go to Frankfurt. The flight took about 1,5 hours. In Frankfurt we had 1,5 hour transit before continuing our flight to Delhi. The fligh from Frankfurt to Delhi took about 7,5 hours. At around 1.30 (Delhi time), we arrived. Jonas got his Visa, so he has his own line in Delhi airport. Since I have e-tourist visa on arrival, I had to queue for 3 hours to get my visa stamped on my passport!! And then, I took my luggage, followed exit sign and then went to domestic departure that is on the 2nd floor. So I had to take an elevator, checked in my luggage again for Jetairways to go to Guwahati airport. Yes, it was about 5 am in the morning when I met Jonas again in the gate. We still have 4,5 hours before our departure. We talked a bit and sleep on the sleeping chair in the airport. It is good that this airport provide good facilities. Just better than my expectation. On 09.30 we flew from Delhi to Guwahati for 2 hour 15 minutes. We arrived in Guwahati at 11.45. We were welcome by some volunteers who managed us to get to the minibus that would take us to our respective hotel.
The first passengers (right-back-left): Thai, Samantha, Clement, Jonas, Bao, Dwi
The minibus just exactly the same as the one we see in Indian movie. Pretty old diesel fuelled minibus with a place to put our luggage on the roof. We were 6 people ready in the bus and have to wait for quite long time until finally our bus was merged with other buses. So our bus was fully seated. We left Guwahati airport at 2 o’clock. (Yes, you are right; we’ve waited for 2 hours in the very hot Indian climate, inside the bus). The good thing is that they provide us with some bottled water and snacks. I really appreciated it The journey from Guwahati to Shillong should have taken about 3 hours, but we ended up with 8,5 hours! At 9.30 pm we finally arrived in our hotel after 10 times (we really did count) of getting lost, stopped in the middle of nowhere, without knowing anything, no information, and the driver had no answer for our questions. A man from Solomon was angry to this situation. Welcome to India! Getting lost is a must!

Trip to Shillong
 Snapshot – the situation in the bus: old bus, the driver set the Indian music very loudly to the volume that you can feel your heartbeat, winding road, no seat belt, honk the horn every second, and sometimes the driver talk on the phone. Great!

The night I arrived in the hotel, I started to soak my soybean.