| Tue - arrived |
- I had a choice travel East town by town or take by night to Guwhati. I couldn't get much info about those towns to see if they are interesting so when I had caught up with most of my work I decided to go direct to Guwhati and get information there.
- bus was 180Rp and leaves at 6.30pm, but I didn't want to arrive too early in the morning.
- So I hung on the back of a packed autorickshaw the 7Km to the new CB Station. Turns out the main trainline has moved south to nearer Cooch Behar so the train is much faster it left late after 10pm, but I was in Guwhati at 4.30am. Ticket cost 71Rp and on the train I upgraded to sleper for 70Rp ..at such low fares Indian passenger rail services must cost the government funds so much money.
- 15 hotels said they were full, either they are really full or they don't want to take foreigners. Got one for 120Rp.
- Tourist office ... being rebuilt someone handed me a pile of leaflets and went back to the meeting they were all in
- Assam Links -Assam Tourist Info
- also http://www.ieiasc.org/guwahati.htm
|Tue- Meetup with Devabrata |
- I had wanted to meetup with some real Assamese so I had emailed some CS members
So went to Cyber ...same old problems spent 30 mins cleaning their viruses ... Devabrata had to go Shillong... So I phoned him, but I was lucky as his house was only 2 blocks away from where I was at the Assam State Museum so we metup before he left ...
|Tue- Museum, walk, Temple Island
- We missed a trick at 12pm at the museum there was a free reception as the minister of culture was opening the new annexe.
- Museum wasn't great, but it's a big place for only 5Rp entrance fee.
- There are a few extra exhibits in the new rooms something about a classic Assamese story etc.
- Walked straight towards the river 3 blocks and past the courthouse (there must be so many lawyers in India) .. Wow another huge river beach.
.... To the ferry going to temple island .. Rundown a few langyurs, frustrating wait for ferry back
- walked .. Along beach west to park where old British gate is all that remains after 1897 Earthquake. ... Through that market area .. Back to hotel.
- Dance festival- February 26 - 28, 2009 Guwahati
Kalpa in association with Dept of Culture, Govt of Assam presents PRAGJYOTI NATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL featuring young classical dancers.
At Rabindra Bhawan Auditorium, 5.30pm
- North Eastern Theatre festival 25th Feb-5th March (nothing in English just Nepali, Assamese, etc seminar/ adult and kids performances every day at Srimanta Sankardev Cultural Centre, Kalakshetra
Wow terrorism is a much bigger deal in Guwahati than Mumbai, yet I never heard about it|
- There I was talking about terrorism not being such a big deal in respect to 130 people killed in Mumbai a city of what 18 million people. If I turn on the TV anytime some channel will be talking about Mombai bombings, yet I had never heard of the October attack in Guwahati. 200 dead in a city of less than 1 million that's much more significant. By my calculations road deaths per year are 1800 in Mumbai and 100 in Guwahati. Those bombs killed about 1 months equivalent of road deaths in Mumbai and 2 years worth in Guwahati.
- In every street in Guwahati someone must know someone effected by the bombs of October and January and to thoses affected relative statistics are no consolation
- Margaret Thatcher said that media should not give terrorists the oxgen of publicity, but it is still a big surprise I had never heard about it.
- One worse thing is that it's not clear who did it so it makes planning against future attacks difficutlt. Surely it must have been Bodo terrorists as anyone else would have been killing a large number of their own people. Sometimes I would suspect politician of staging a bomb for political reasons, but surely they are not that crazy.
- We can only hope that this madness stops so that resources can be targetted against disease etc.
| Wed - Dentist
- had a couple of fillings and hammered my broken crown back in.. Ouch for 2 days. Also I had a rotten tooth which only broke last month was worse than I thought it had rotted from the bottom , and as he said it would cost 3500Rp and 2 big visits to fix so I decided to get to just remove it on Thursday. I double checked with 2 other dentists one said he could fix it for 3000Rp and the other just immediately suggested I remove it, but I can't keep losing teeth like that.
| Wed - Culture Park
- Srimanta Sankardev Cultural Centre, Kalakshetra ... (along GS Road turn left at 6th Mile) |
- has 100Rp foreigner price, which is alright I suppose as it's got a lot of things : a garden, ethnographic museum, an over optimistic energy exhibition. traditional houses, art gallery etc .. It tried to rain, but nothing really.
- A guy claiming to be a friendly banker stopped me for a long chat ..and then said "can I seeyour foreign Visa bankcard." , "No" is the answer .. is this scam anyone knows ?
- Walked back most of the way from 6th mile .. The city seems to be really big, mostly the streets are not made properly, but there are flyovers and shopping malls around.
Thu- Chitrachal Hill, Dentists |
- I went up Chitrachal Hill for the view, but it was cloudy
- tooth extracted
- internet until 10pm.
- That bloody tooth, what an idiot - If I had passed a dentist's in Nepal it would have been fixed before it broke, but now I realise they are all in the public hospitals. If I had been with Nepali friends who spoke good English then they would have told me, but there was always other things to talk about first. I throught "Well I'll be dead within the next 20-30 years so I don't have to keep the tooth forever and ever, and if I repair it, it will only break again", but hmm the others were all at the back this now seems like a bigger and more important than I thought . ... Maybe in 10 years time we'll be able to culture new teeth.
|Fri - Internet - Dust-storm|
- The flaming mosquitoes got inside the net last night, so there were blood stains all over the sheets and I slept late.
- I went over the railway for a walk. When I came out of the internet the street was covered in a dust storm.
..Stopped off at the village weaving women's charity shop and bought some presents.. Science society gave me a book. Walk around the tank park ... Silk selling fair (boring to me).
- At his father's Momo restaurant I met Ton-moy and Jasmi who work for a big Assam area TV station NETV. We went to visit the studios.. It was strange to see the guy reading the news in his jacket and then see him in the flesh 45 minutes later.