Rickshaw Running 2016: Nooks and Crannies

July 29, 2016  •  2 Comments

Since getting into Shillong a few days ago, some things have become very apparent:

  1. The internet is a fickle beast, you get a good few minutes, and then it falls off. Rinse and repeat. Too bad if you’re lost… I wish I’d brought a compass right now.
  2. There is no standard for electricity wiring. So long as it gets there. Watch your head when you walk if you’re tall…
  3. There’s no such thing as a bin on the streets for all your waste or recycling…
  4. There’s rarely lines on the road. It’s a free for all.
  5. They don’t shower. They fill a bucket and then tip it all over themselves, the bathroom floor, the toilet, their dry clothes…
  6. Butchers are street vendors WITHOUT electricity in most cases. Hence why I’m going to be vegetarian here.
  7. This is life, in its rawest of functions. Embrace it because else the realisations will cripple you.
  8. They don’t have a system where you can dial a taxi from your phone. You have to hail one the old fashioned way. Even if that means running into traffic and catching them like Pokemon.
  9. They get up late. It’s like Melbourne.
  10. There’s no “grocery” stores. It’s all markets. Each nook or cranny has its own speciality. It’s like going on a treasure hunt, all the time.

We've been poking around Bara Bazaar, the largest market that I've ever seen. There's fruit and vegetables, spices, meats (more on this in a moment) textiles, cooking goods, clothes ... everything you'd expect in a market.

So the meat thing... in this part of India, the far north-east corner, the bit that everyone forgets is India, there's a large Catholic population. It's not all buddhists (those are the people that worship cows and wouldn't eat them) There's a little bit of nepalese influence and so in these parts, its not uncommon to find beef on the menu. As we venture into the more "mainstream" parts of India, that will definitely be off the menu. But alas, as already advised, I'm going vegetarian to avoid any larger issues with meat health and safety. In these parts, it's also uncommon to have a fridge, so meat is sold without the use of it, even in Monsoon. Women are out early, buying meat for the day, plus all fruit and vegetables, spices and rice.

The Bazaar is a bizarre place to walk, I feel out of place, but with a male in our group (male Bev) I know I'm protected. I'm uncertain of what it'd be like to walk alone or in an all-female group, however the people here are still friendly. The mornings are bright and beautiful, in the afternoons, the storms roll in with a smug predictability. The clouds linger low, the people cease rushing around and almost disappear. Then the heavens open up and all trapped in its path are showered. Though I have formed a new appreciation for how people live and what they consider to be modern, civilisation...

What I haven't gotten used to is the sound of the Truck and Bus Horns. Oh lordy, I can still feel the shrill sound of the pitch in my bones.

Alcohol here is also not very widespread. There's no chains and they're all independant stores. They're mostly named "Wine Stores" and the wine is like off-grape juice. There is no refinement, it's like a wall of sugar and juice thats sat in the sun for hours on end. If you're in India and after a drink, go for beer or sprits. THere's also no interaction with the store, the wine and reading the labels. It's liek a ciggy counter here in Australia. You tell the attendant what you want, and they give you options.

The Gin and Tonic will have to do for a while. There's no fridge and not much Tonic around. Juice it is. Gin and Juice. Tonic is only for the larger cities. Though it's hard to want to dull the senses, there's so much to be alert for. Melatonin is my friend for now, helping me get to sleep on the rock solid beds.

Save the wine experience for France. Seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Leanne(non-registered)
I'm enjoying your adventure Mel. I can see why you've chosen the vegetarian path.
PETER RYAN(non-registered)
Love the photos and the blog
No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July August September (14) October (3) November (1) December (1)
January February March April (1) May (1) June July (1) August September October November (1) December (6)
January February (1) March April May June July August (1) September (1) October November (1) December
January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January February March (2) April (1) May June July August September October (1) November December (1)
January February March April May June July (1) August September October November December