India Day 5
Yesterday I was swept away by Dibrugarh’s charm, and today the feeling I have is indescribable. Last night I corresponded with one of my new friends from the park on Facebook. We decided to meet up at 7:30 am in front of my hotel. I was greeted on the street in the morning by my friend and her younger brother, who also spoke pretty good english. We walked back to their home, which was about a twenty minutes away. We talked the whole way. We walked down busy dirt roads dodging rickshaws and autos and cows, over train tracks, past all sorts of businesses, and then down a narrow alleyway which twisted and turned like a maze.
We finally arrived at their home which had the bamboo construction and mud stucco I have seen often. She introduced me to her mother and father and after a short visit with them, both parents disappeared into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. In the mean time little brother excitedly showed me around their home. Each of the members of the family had their own lofty stack of books since the father is a teacher and both children students. We sat down and ate a delicious breakfast with roti, rice, and a delicious spicy cauliflower in sauce. Like good hosts, they made sure I was beyond full before they lead me into the living room to relax.
I had a wonderful conversation with them and was inundated with knowledge of the culture of northeast India. After an hour or so my friend and I went to her college and I got to talk with her professors about all sorts of interesting topics. There were ecologists and entomologists and physicists and anthropologists and on and on. After a while we went to a bank which is where she needed to register for the next semester. All of her classmates were there and they took turns sitting next to me on a bench asking me questions. One guy even took my autograph! They were all really curious and friendly.
After the bank we went back to the college to finalize paperwork and then went back to her home. They sat me down at the table with the father and we were fed lunch, which was another delicious meal. They again fed me until I couldn’t move and then ushered me into the living room where I lounged, completely content. Dibrugarh is powered by dams with hydroelectric generators, and it being the dry season, there are many black outs. The power went out so the whole family huddled around a gas lantern in the living room and talked and joked. There must have been ten visitors during the day, all bringing food, which of course I had to eat.
They invited me to stay with them and offered to show me around the area. I tried to say that I would be a burden, but they insisted. I am blown away by the generosity and as usual, am at a loss for ways to repay. It’s hard to believe that just three days ago I was hardly able to leave my room and shaking like a leaf while eating a meal in public. Everyone has been so receptive and kind, and I couldn’t feel safer or more comfortable after my interactions with the people of Dibrugarh.
The guys are still a week away, but I’m not as antsy to get started with the documentary anymore. I am so grateful to have shown up in a completely foreign place and be treated with such generosity and kindness. I’m sure I’ve missed many stories and details of the day, but it all happened so fast that I can only piece it together. I went and looked at bikes with little brother before going back to my hotel and I think there are some new ones in my price range ($70!!!). I’m not sure what I’m up to tomorrow, but I have no doubt that it will be wonderful in this land of enchantment!