Sunday, April 13, 2008
Drass-Srinagar, Kashmir: 25Jul07
Lesson learnt: Choose your partner wisely!
At 4am, i tied my own luggage at the roof top (yes, carried my own heavy luggage and climbed up to the roof of the bus). Then i slept through out the way in the bus journey, until 3 hours before we reach Srinagar.
Along the road, there were military camp and militant posted along the way. In someway, this was making me feel walking on the street is kind of safer (well ... but later on, the house boat owner actually said, nobody trust the military people here). However, the heavy militarized reminded me that, this is not a peaceful paradise after all.
i met an Indian old man on the bus. He claimed to have a sister in Kuantan, Malaysia and he could really tell me many stuff about Malaysia. Since i don't have partner now, so i just partner up with him. i think it should be kind of 'interesting' to travel with some local as well. (This proved to be not a very wise decision and almost everyone said i am too naive.)
So eventually, i found that, may be Indian men don't do thing like split bill in the public (you have to do it discreetly out of the eyes of others) and they like to make decision. So, i paid him whatever bill in the room (he refused to take it otherwise) and instead of ordering food myself, i would just tell him what do i want and he would order for me to the waiter who was standing right in front me. These were just kind of strange to me, i feel like an incapable inferior animals who couldn't do my own thing. But may be, this is just the Indian gentleman way.
He refused me to call him uncle and didn't talk much about his family. This was actually making me feel rather uncomfortable. Well... The worst thing should be, he started to touch me. Squeezing my shoulder, my back, my limbs, kiss my cheek ... (not that we knew for years and in fact not even a day!) i was trying to be polite, so i told him that, i don't like people to touch me, so please don't do so. i was thinking, worst come to worst, i would just whack him! i learnt Chinese martial art after all!
By end of the day, i got my bus and train ticket to Delhi and Gaya done. Then we both took a shikara (gondola) ride on Dal Lake. The boat ride was scenic, but it wasn't that enjoyable with a companion who made me think that, he would take advantages on me if he found chance. i started to talk about my 'boyfriend' to him as well, hoping that, he would put a stop to whatever in his mind!
In general, i think, tomorrow, when my current travel partner leave, i would be able to enjoy my stay better. Surprisingly, people here are friendly and helpful. i didn't feel particularly uncomfortable with the military. The men and women here are good looking and it is always nice to see beautiful things around. :)
A stop over point for breakfast, from Drass to Srinagar.
The pine tree hill was beautiful.
The houseboat on Dal Lake.
Considering what gets put into the lake (there are no proper sanitary system for houseboat), the water is amazingly clear.
While the atmosphere on the lake is beguiling, Srinagar is still the epicentre of
So photo taking of any military, including government buildings and bridges could risk to be arrested.
Houseboat on Nagin Lake.
This peaceful stretch of water is around 7km from Dal Lake but can easily access by the local small public bus.
The Boulevard, the majority of houseboats are lined up facing here.
This was one of the street that i passed by on my way to walk to the government office to buy my train ticket from Delhi to Gaya.
i like the ancient-looked buildings.
One of the shops at 'that' shopping street.
i think, i have never seen any shop as colorful as these that i can see in India.
Kashmir is afterall still India, eventhough the color might not be as sharp as those in Delhi, but the shop is still kind of colorful to me. :)
Me on the Shikara. i was with my travel partner, but i refused to take picture with him. :P