An Indian story: A saffron shirt, woolen socks, Ibrahim & me
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I originally planned to visit the small village where they finish furniture with a centuries old recipe for beetle dung lacquer.
Since that village had no public accommodations for visitors, the locals suggested I take the bus to the nearby town.
I only meant to stay at that town long enough to visit the village and continue on my way, but as things turnout in India, the is always the unexpected. And although the technicalities and schedule are often challenging the people that show up around those times make it all worth it.
So when this one day stay turned into two for some rest before hitting the road, then three for looking around town, then 4 for meeting some new friends, then 5,6 and 7 because they won't let me leave but keep me visiting family, ordering mango juice for me while sitting in their mobile phone shop, motorcycling to the jungle, to historic sites, to relatives on the farms around and hang out with friends in the town circle or the nightly cricket tournament with the neighboring village... I just gave in.
By the time I was seriously negotiating my departure, they had found a truck ride for me that leaves for my next dstination.
Ibrahim (left on the upper left photo) surprised me one of those mornings with the Saffron polo shirt (I wear on the upper right photo) he bought me as a friendship gift.
I was speechless. They hosted me as a VIP with no expectations and now rather then me buying them a gift, they get one for me !
The shirt was beautiful and I wore it along my way up northern India. By the time I got there it was the cold monsoon at the Himalayan foothills of Manali and as I traveled east across the Rotang pass into the Indo-chinese valleys I decided to trade the shirt for a much needed localy woven pair of colorful woolen socks. After some offers I found a lovely shop keeper in Reckong Pew (lower left) that liked the deal. I got two pairs of socks, the turquoise one sent to my mom in Israel. These socks served beautifully keeping me warm for months to come in Himachal Pradesh and Nepal. Just this week I wore them up here in Northern California, near Yosemite and every time I do, Ibrahim and my beautifully unexpected time in his town comes up...
My India: Where every village is home - Experience !
In the story India cost of living - Travel how-to & tips.
Also by Etan Doronne
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