alhea houtman

India

India?!

THE INCREDIBLE INDIA! India is famous for its Taj Mahal. India is one of the most interesting countries that I’ve been to. Now, India is very different from other countries and other certain areas. Throughout the countries with been to, India is one of the countries that was very hard and long to get through. You may ask why? India’s road isn’t suitable and hard to get through. There were a bunch of rocks, slippery mud, and many more. For us, it can take about 15 hours to get through it even though there are still a bunch of them, but for overlanders, with motorcycles, it can take about 3 days to get through it, isn’t that crazy? 

 

It’s not also the rocks and slippery mud, there are animals crossing by; cows. Well, not only cows there are a bunch of them such as dogs, cats, goats, and etc. Here in India, there are cows on the highway, isn’t that very unusual? A lot of people also said, “don’t honk at the cow”, “never hit the cow”, “you have to wait until the cow walk, then you can go”. This is exactly the reason why it took us very long to our next destination, but it was an adventure and I really liked it :) I mean, who gets to cross a highway with cows crossing by every 5 minutes? 

 

I’ve visited this city named, Dimapur. Known as Nagaland, where it was one of the conflicted territories, that is why there are dozens of military checkpoint we have to get through and the people there doesn’t look Indian but they are, they just look more Myanmar than Indian. Not long after, we were starving and there weren’t many supermarkets or mini market around. Therefore, we found farmers that were planting a bunch of plums! We decided to ask if we can buy it from them, surprisingly they’re able to speak English well, not fluently but it's amazing! We ended up getting one kilo and they kept on stuffing it into the plastic, we’ve said it’s enough because what if we couldn’t finish all of it. But she just keeps adding more and more to the plastic, so then my mom had to take it away and said we’re good. We said Thank You to all of them, it was very kind of them to allow us from buying plums from them! 

 

I went to this one city filled with majority Muslim citizens, a city called, Lucknow. It was one of the most interesting cities to visit, the majority of acid attack victims lived in Lucknow. The majority are women, therefore… I felt bad for them, I really do. We met one of our greatest friends in Lucknow, and his name was Ba Blada. We decided to meet up in this opened restaurants, the waiters was one of the acid attack victims, but I think she’s very beautiful, she still manages to smile to what other people might react or respond :) 

 

Ba Blada! The first morning in Lucknow, Ba Blada decided to take us around the city. But early in the morning, for breakfast I tried the Masala Omelette, I think that it is very scrumptious. Then, before Ba Balada took us around the city, he decided to let us taste one of their most famous Local Welcoming Drink! My Mom saw how it was made, it was made with Lemon Squash, Sodas, and she said: “they also sprinkle these little things I don’t know what it is”. Then the second it was given to me, I was a little curious, it smells strong but familiar, yet it smells just like Lemon Squash and Soda. My sister said “I think it’s Masala”, “no it can’t be, I just ate Masala Omelette this morning,”  I replied. 

 

The second my mom asked Ba Blada, what are these little dots, and he said... (Click here to read more and get to know about it) I was surprised and I couldn’t finish it, my parents told me how to appreciate others, so then I am trying my best to show appreciation by drinking the drink, but I ended up not finishing it. Ba Blada asked “you don’t like it?”, and my mom replied “we’re not used to it and it’s very spicy on the throat too”, then Ba Blada laughed. But my mom, my dad, and gemma managed to finish it. Gemma is one of the strongest people I know, she’s stronger than me even though she’s 67 years old. She ate the things that she dislikes, but since she knows it's good for her health such as olives, she decided to eat it and still not making a face of disgust or anything. Let me tell you something, to be able to do that is very hard and challenging, but she has the will to do it and she’s very strong to do so, never judge a person by their age. 

 

I couldn’t thank Ba Blada to be one of the amazing people and one of the most understanding people we could ever meet. Lucknow is most known for the majority of the citizens are Muslims. While we were drinking the Lemon Squash Masala, there are other little kids playing around on the pavement naked. Therefore, there is this huge land belongs to the government or one of the richest people in India or Lucknow. They have this huge territory of their own, where they have their own airport, bank, factory and everything in there. Meanwhile, there are other citizens out there majority just needs shelter or just proper clothing attire. 

 

We were also on our way from Alipurduar to Araria, we decided to stop by in this small restaurant in the middle of nowhere. There was only one car there, then they were confused and wondered what are we doing in this area because it is not common for tourists to be there. Therefore, we met one of the amazing people named, Ashok. He’s a soldier and he’s currently having a holiday weekend with his family, he decided to do a little road trip too. He, his wife, his two children and one of his friend driving. He was very happy to meet us and so are we! We couldn’t be happier in meeting other people, we decided to eat there and the majority of everything is spicy. Gemma and my sister didn’t really like the food because it was too spicy she said, Zach couldn’t eat spicy food even just paprika, his taste buds are really sensitive. Therefore, I didn’t mind eating it, it was great! I love spicy food and I could really eat at that time because we were starving on the road. 

 

Not long after we finished eating, Ashok decided to give us one of their traditional clothes. We were very honored and so we accepted it! It was one of the interesting things that we could find. We always love meeting people coincidentally or unplanned! We couldn’t be any grateful to be able to accept their traditional clothing and their warm company. Ashok was an amazing friend and he was very enthusiastic about meeting us :) 

Throughout my whole experience in India, I am able to experience things that are very rare and golden. Being able to see things with my two bare eyes and able to feel it too, able to communicate with one another too. I always thought that I’m dreaming most of the time because the hardest and the best times felt very unreal. 

New content will hopefully be uploaded once a week or could be twice a week! Stay Tune every Mondays!

- Alhea Houtman