Friday, 11 April 2008

Singin' in the Rain

I checked into the Broadway hotel. 1/6 of the price and no free nightclub.

I took my camera and walked down the hill to Iew Duh, where the Khasi tribespeople have a "colourful and lively" (Lonely Planet) market. It began to rain almost immediately. I had forgotten my umbrella.

The rain wasn't too bad. I joined some people huddling in front of a pharmacy. There I had a conversation with a young lady about my husband, job and age. Her teeth were stained red from chewing betel nut leaves.

Then the hail began. The hailstones were big. They bounced off the cars and hurt when they hit me. I kept my camera dry by holding my shirt over it. The market itself was now a flowing stream of water and rubbish. It was impossible to move between the people and umbrellas.

I waited for my writer's mind to kick in. That's the part that says "Oh, what I horrible time I'm having. Fantastic! It'll make great copy!". This is because everybody loves reading about somebody else's misfortune. It didn't kick in, but then perhaps it was just damp.

I walked back to the Broadway Hotel. It took 30 mins and the rain didn't stop. When I arrived, I bought some chocolate, dried myself off, switched on the television and climbed under the quilt. Then I shivered for an hour.

Shillong is in an Indian state called Meghalaya. This translates as "Abode of Clouds". A place called Mawsynram is also in Meghalaya. Mawsynram is also in the Guinness Book of Records - for being the wettest place on earth.

So now the "Scotland" comparison makes sense. And it's Hill Stations 3 Louise 0.

(On the television, incidentally, it was West Brom 0, Portsmouth 1. Play up Pompey!)








Words and Pictures © Louise Heal 2008

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