Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day in Nagaland

So, happy Valentine's Day.

I'm in Nagaland.


Valentine's Day in Nagaland.

Where I am, the city of Khohima, was where the Japanese were stopped, in a prolonged battle with British and commonwealth troops, when they invaded India in 1944. That being said, I have'nt done much since I've got here...I'm supposed to meet my former professor's cousin's sister's Nagamese friend later today, and he said she'd help me thought is to try and visit a place called the Dzoukou Valley just south of Kohima, probably visiting some villages along the way...but things are pretty up in the air right now.

Actually, I just got a call from "my former professor's cousin's sister's Nagamese freind" and I'll be meeting her soon, so I'll have to, yet again, cut this short.........

But, needless to say, even in just the few hours I've been here, it's struck me that Nagaland doesn't feel like anywhere else I've been . Not even Cherupunji in the Northeastern state of Meghalaya. Of course, the various tribes of the Nagas ("Naga" being something of an umbrella term that lumps together all of the groups in this region), bear little resemblance either to mainstream Indians or even to the other tribal groups that occupy the plains (for example, the Missing people of the Brahmaputra). But there are all sorts of things that you run into on the street here that you wouldn't just 200 kms away in Jorhat. Baptists are ubiquitous. As is American country and western. As are ladies selling huge quantities of snails on the street.

The ride here was something too...I got off at the plains city of Dimapur, which is part of Nagaland state, though it clearly had more in common with the plains that it does with the rest of Nagaland. Anyway, I wound up taking a taxi from there, up into the hills, just as it was getting dark. Riding through the countryside, I got the distinct impression that the population density in these far Eastern parts is vastly lower than down on the plains.

And as we came up, we had to pass through three separate police checkpoints. Though I don't think there's been any major activity of late, this area is clearly still very 7:30, the time I arrived, all the stores were closed, and there was practically nobody on the streets.

I wound up staying a place called Hotel maybe the worst room I've ever stayed in. No water, dirty walls and filthy floors. Yay! That was not a morale booster, and if I'm still in Kohima tonight I'm going to move elsewhere.

So, as of yet, all I can say is that I've made it safely to Kohima, but I haven't done anything spectacular yet.

In other news, I'm changing my travel plans around significantly. It was a bit naive of me to think I could accomplish anything visiting seven different states. This must be one of the most difficult places in India to visit due to the lack of tourist infrastructure, So, for, now, I'm just going to focus on Nagaland for the next few weeks and see how much I can do.

That's the plan, such as it is....

Oh, and as I was getting off the bus coming back from Majuli Island, I was walking towards my hotel, when a random woman came up to me and started talking to me. First she just asked me typical questions (which country? what do you do? How many brothers and sisters?) but then she got onto the subject of whether or not I was married, and upon learning that I was not, informed me that she runs a marriage agency, and that if I happened to feel like getting married to an Indian girl (that afternoon), all I had to do was drop by. I said, "Maybe Later."

Well, that's all for now...don't know when I'll be able to post again, and I don't know what I'll be posting...

Ain't it the life though.

P.S.: Sophie..are flying foxes technically a species of bat, or are they their own thing?

P.P.S: Ron Paul Sees All (RPSA!)

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