Monday, May 2, 2011

Just for fun...

Here's my notes from our first day in Srinagar, Kashmir. (I kept a daily 'journal'--the entry for April 3 follows):

Met the big burly poet, Amit, at the Delhi airport. Gave us his book of poetry for one rupee ("I never give away my work for free"). It was a legit book--tried to give him more than one rupee but he refused. Strongarmed his way to getting us a taxi to the REAL airport (the one we arrived to via metro and the one IndiGo departs from are 9km apart). He wore a beret. Can we be best friends? Was from a village 100km from Delhi--said they're like 2 differet worlds. "All we have in my village are farmers and soldiers...and one poet." Arrived to Srinagar. Airport looks like a war zone...and it's COLD! Beautiful mountains, people definitely not used to seeing tourists. Went shopping at the "Sunday Market" on Residency Rd. Apparently many of the items there (clothes, shoes, etc.) are 'used'--ha. Attracted a lot of stares for not wearing 'appropriate' dress (was wearing jeans and sweatshirt--AKA my rear wasn't covered with a long top). Out Muslim friends definitely didn't appreciate it. Bought a sweater to tie around my waist--problem solved. All bought cold weather wear (it's FREEZING!) and had lunch @ Mughal Darbar Restaurant. Kashmir kehwa tea=delish! Went back to Hotel Swiss to use the internet and be in before curfew. Guy at desk (Ruuf?) is super nice/funny/helpful. Gave us an electric blanket, so hopefully we will make it through the night without freezing...!

Our first task in approaching
Another people
Another culture
Another religion
Is to take off our shoes
For the place we are approaching
Is holy.

Else we may find ourselves
Treading on another's dreams.

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