It was 9.00 am and the rain has not stop since the day I arrived. I was up since 5.00 am. It slowed down a bit later and I went down to have a look at Lil G. She’s fine and getting all the attention from the locals. I oiled her chain and filled up some air in the rubber. Routine check; I need new rear tyre soon as it is getting bold in the centre.
As I was doing my stuff, local asked me same stuff, how much, how fast, how many km a liter, you know, the same old questions.
Then came this guy, he has been observing me and the bike for a while.
Man: You ride this from Malaysia?
Man: You going to Ladakh with this?
Man: Sell me this bike when you come back next week.
Me: Huh! What do you mean?
Man: If this bike can survive from Malaysia and made it to Ladakh and come back, I want this bike. Must b really strong and powerful..with disc brakes and tubeless tyres. What else can I ask for fr a small bike?
I just smile.
Man: seriously, sell me the bike and you can fly home.
Me: Thanks for the offer, but its not for sale.
Man: Why don’t Indians make such a bike? (asking people around him)
Me: I don’t know brother, but u can start with one.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Went up and changed. And off to Srinagar town.
Went to a local tourist office to get some local detail map of Jammu-Kashmir. Again as I parked the bike, people start asking me same questions and few giving me the same offer. Sell them the bike once I am done with the trip to Ladakh.
“Not for sale, mister,” I told them each time.
Met with the tourist officer and got my map. Was advised to go to foreigner registration office and get myself registered. Went there and met the officers.
First impression I got when I told them I come from Malaysia on a bike was a salute. They saluted me when they saw Lil G . Offered me chai and had some chat. Wonderful people they are. Shared some local info with me and was advised that meteorologist office has issued an alert on precautious on the mountains driving due to storm and rain for the next few days. This is the hottest summer and the coldest summer in india ever, they told me. Hottest is cities down south and coldest up in Jammu-Kashmir. Its snowing up here in summer.
What can I say. With the rain and un predictable weather, things does happen.
He advises me to stay few days before heading up the mountains. He suggested me few places to go and visit in town. So off I go.
Went for ride around the city. Srinagar is a city stands on old buildings. Most of the old buildings still survived and has that rustic and classic look. If only they keep and maintain this place…
Later, off to the lakeside to snap some pic. Still, having the difficulity to snap some pic. There will always be people hogging you and ask u questions; in Hindi! And they just love to stand in front of my camera.
Went to some temples and I got really frustated. Went all the way uphill and then I was told that no cameras, phones or any recordings allowed. Most places don’t allow people to take pictures and are fully-guarded with soldiers. Hmmm. In areas where you can take pictures, you will be hogged and in place where people can’t hog you, you cannot take pictures.
Such is life.
I guess it’s better for me just to head to the cybercafe near where I stay; emptying my card as well as sending pictures home. Got everything hooked to their PC and as I was about to start, there goes the power.
“This is India my friend. We have nuclear, our own car, huge power dam but we don’t have enough electricity for the people,” the owner tells me while laughing.
I just smiled and walked out.
Again same question about Lil G. In total for that day, 9 people wanted her, to buy her with many offers. No. She is mine.
Waited for almost an hour before the power finally came back. Well , it took a while to transfer and upload. Guess u guys had the pictures before this story comes. Been writing my stories on my BB and to bad I couldn’t find a place with a wifi for me to transfer from BB to my blog’s server.
Anyway, I spent two hours in the cybercafe; replying e-mails and responding to comments in my blog.
Later, off me go to grab a bite. Had chicken masala punjab style while praying that it doesn’t gives me ‘masalah’ the next day. Hahaha.