Do you like to interact with the locals ? Do you observe people and their way of doing things ?
Travel is not just visiting a place; it is about knowing that place and the local culture through a community attached to it.
Believe me, the interaction opens up a stream of conversation and does away of any inhibitions. It also helps you know them better.
I spoke at length to this lady and her family. I could make out that their language was similar to Nepalese. When I asked, they confirmed. They were of Nepalese descent. Then I requested them to translate a few sentences in Nepalese for me which they gladly did. We chatted throughout our time in Himalayan zoological park at Bulbulay, Gangtok.
Sarita, shy & beautiful Nepalese descendent lady.
This old woman, lost in her thoughts, was standing alone on a small bridge in Banjhankari waterfalls. And I didn’t want to disturb her.
An old lady at Banjhankari waterfalls… oblivious of everything around her.
Monmaya.. that’s her name. She was going towards the resort Royal Damazong where we were staying. She is a housekeeping staff and was well before her reporting time. Work timings are morning 7 AM to 6 PM. Tourism industry is a major industry and a source of income in Sikkim. She told me, every young person in Sikkim tries to learn English…. it helps in interacting with tourists.
Monmaya, a housekeeping staff at the resort. She was going for her duty.
Young monks. Most of them were quite playful. Some had bubblegum in their mouth and some other were speaking on mobile phones. Teasing each other, chatting were all part of their life just as any other school kids. I wonder how these young kids decide to become monks.
On first floor, I saw 2-3 of them painting a portion of a wall with a senior keeping an eye on them. Probably a punishment for something ?
Young monks at Lingdum monastery listening intently to their teacher while practicing lama dance.
The staff at Royal Damazong resort is ever smiling and very courteous. Be it an ordered sunny side up egg, morning ginger tea, hot steamy chapathi or a weird demand of some lemon pieces with salt (packed separately) for the nauseous ones among us, they were always on their toes.
Jharna, an ever smiling and warm staff in the resort. And that’s her uniform.
Deepak, our 24 year old driver who definitely looks younger than his age.
And this child was one of my favourites on this tour. I feel like giving him a tight hug. Right now ! 😀
Cute little kid.
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