Songs of salvation: in which we get excited about a triple over-bridge

26 10 2015

Roofs, many roofs

Before dinner the Christian rock band were rehearsing again, with a lot of one-way Jesus, but also another song about salvation. We took a stroll around town, but most of it was closed, it being Good Friday.

Structure of grey

We were heading to a local night market but found it closed, which we should have predicted.

There were still a few people about, with some setting up stalls on rugs on the pavement, selling mostly vegetables and fried snacks. One gentleman asked us the normal questions about where we had come from, but then finished with a very jolly ” Welcome to Nagaland!”.

Local food here

The importance of architects

Earthquakes don't kill...

Wonderland: found

Here be Wonderland!

In the dying light

One of the highlights of the walk were the over-bridges: first a normal double span and then a spectacular triple. Constructed from steel and concrete they looked like a someone had just forced them into the existing buildings, thinking only of function but accidentally creating elegant structures. It being Good Friday, these normally essential structures were not needed, given the complete lack of evening traffic.

Double over!

Start of the triple

Intersection

One of the few open shops

At the shop

As dusk fell we stopped at small tea shop for excellent chai and k-pop from a transistor radio.

End of a long day

On the way back #1 guide observed that some clients would have blamed him for the market being closed. This just baffled us as it was hardly within his control, and anyway isn’t the point of travelling to make something of whatever comes your way? Just think: if we had gone to the market we might have missed those marvellous over-bridges.


— words by Paul
— pictures by Paul
— more pictures in Assam & Nagaland album and Kohima album.





Kohima shines: in which we stare out of the window for a long time

18 10 2015

Poured boxes

Before lunch, from Kaziranga to Dimapur, we’d been travelling along smooth, wide roads; the national or state highway. There was very little traffic but lots of rain, and no view through the bus windows because of the condensation. One of us occupied themselves with crochet, the other with music. We crossed two police checkpoints without problems, but starting to see people with guns. Lots of guns. Everyone appeared to be carrying them, including children and youths, something we would have to try and get used to in Nagaland.

After lunch, the rain had dried up and though the roads from Dimapur to Kohima were smooth, they were very winding and not conducive to crochet (though the music was unaffected). Anyway, the windows had cleared and it was interesting to stare out of the window, reading the signs, noting what was familiar and what was different. There were lots of pots of flowers outside the shops and homes, and lots of ‘educational’ signs about earthquakes, about the dangers of smoking, about HIV/AIDS.

We approached Kohima late in the afternoon towards sunset. Lovely mountains. Clouds. Evening light. Kohima spread across the peaks and pooled in the dip between. It looked shiny and white in the sun and from a distance, but the buildings are actually rather colourful and tightly packed on steep roads. The churches are huge and numerous.

on the spot

Kohima sprawls

Our hotel, The Orchid Boutique Hotel, was down a very narrow winding street and seemed very urban and unwelcoming. The rooms, and the staff, however, were very pleasant. Our room had a bathroom bigger than many hotel rooms we’ve stayed in, and our balcony had a spectacular view over the city.

Flower entry

balcony view

Skeletal worship

look the other way

We drank a smuggled beer on the balcony and listened to a Christian rock group rehearsing nearby.

“One way, Jesus, you’re the only one that I believe for…”

They didn’t have a big repertoire, so we were soon more familiar than we really wanted to be with ‘one-way Jesus’. Drums okay, guitars almost there, vocals less so.

Kohima by night

A blaze in the night

Spilt light


— words by Elizabeth & Paul
— pictures by Paul & Elizabeth
— more pictures in Assam & Nagaland album and Kohima album.








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