Leh/Shakti/Chemdey/Karu villages, Ladakh
After a day of driving through snow-covered villages I am very tempted to change my ticket. But as it stands, I am flying Friday morning to Delhi. Farewell for now to the land of crazy pashmina goats (didn't write yet about my attack by a pashmina goat!), frozen rivers and very expensive internet.
As long as the sun is out, even December in Ladakh is a pristine fairyland, with monasteries perched like fairy-tale castles on solitary hills. And all those other cliches....:-)
But, I haven't washed my hair in more than a week. Not that it matters, neither has anyone else...
You never know who is going to be an Indian intelligence officer in Ladakh (or perhaps, some other kind of intelligence officer, in which case they would be a spy). I have discovered that a number of things and establishments presenting themselves in an ordinary way are in fact intelligence operations.
It's kind of cool, because since I fully understand neither Hindi nor Ladakhi, I am not a high security risk. I did overhear the English words "body" and "spy" in an official conversation yesterday, though, in an official office with official officials. I was given strict instructions not to reveal the true identity of the office I was sitting in. Naturally, I wouldn't, but I think the Chinese and Pakistani governments probably know already. It made me wonder how many Chinese and Pakistani undercovers are walking around town. Not something I want to know too much about...I am a "spiritual investigative reporter" (thanks, Kullu Kid of IndiaMike.com) and prefer to keep it that way.
If you want to determine whether someone is "intelligence" I would recommend looking at the shoes. The shoes tell the whole story (with everyone, not just intelligence). Black, expensive shoes are a giveaway.
What do my shoes (slate-grey Merrell hiking boots, a donation from travel-mates Lisa & Jonah Nigro!) say? They are saying "I need a new pair." If anyone is coming over, I wear an American Boys' size 9.
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