Manali – A Feeling of the Himalaya


Thursday, I had the opportunity to go to the cricket match between India and Pakistan. Here, this is more important than a football match between Germany and Holland! However, Indians do not really create a passionate atmosphere in the stadium. Thus, I took over the role of an animator. As a foreigner, especially white guy in an Indian cricket shirt, this is not very difficult. Just for fun I started a Mexican Wave with my friends. Unexpectedly, it turned into something huge, because the whole stadium (30,000 people) joined in. Later in the evening my Indian buddy Arjun told me, that I did not know what I had done. He called me the craziest German he knows (I do not know; how many he knows). The next day, my boss told me, that we have even been on the local TV channel.


Seeing Snow for the First Time

Some weeks ago, a large trainee group went to Manali for a weekend. Manali is in the Himalaya at 3.300m above sea level and the landscape is simply breathtaking. Saturday, we did a sightseeing tour. We walked around and Rajes, a girl from Singapore, saw real snow for the first time in her life. She was as excited as a little kid. The hotel we stayed had less rooms available than we booked. Thus, it got very cozy. It was not bad, because Manali gets extremely cold at night. We were prepared and had bought some bottles of our secret weapon. Beer is very expensive in India, but rum, especially Old Monk, is definitely affordable. We bought three bottles of half liter each and paid less than 10€.


International Tongue Breakers with Old Monk

That night was very funny. We started with tongue breakers in many different languages. Whoever got it wrong had to drink a sip of Old Monk. I leave the rest up to your imagination. Sunday morning was a bit difficult for everybody. We split up into smaller groups. I went on a jeep safari with Karlijn, a new trainee from Holland. That was perfect. We drove through some small mountain villages and took a closer look at the Kullu valley. We stopped every now and then. We saw some small temples and visited some tiny shops. The Tibetan touch is really nice to look at. It was a very nice and relaxing weekend.

Coffee Shops Conversations

My German lessons are over and were very successful. My two students passed with very good results. It was general test, which I did not design myself. It is a real pity that I got to know Diana, an Indian AIESECer, only during the last few weeks. I would have liked to have met her earlier. She does not have that typical Indian mindset at all but is very cosmopolitan. I enjoyed the conversations with her in various coffee shops. It made me understand many Indian characteristics much better. Furthermore, we started a series of weekend basketball games with Indians and internationals. We should have done that earlier, but it is still very funny.


My second Indian wedding

About two weeks ago, my roommates and I were invited to one of my Indian friends wedding. I got to know Bunny, the groom, via one of my former roommates and stayed in touch with him ever since. It was a completely different wedding than the first one I have attended. This is because this time it was a Sikh wedding. In my post on Amritsar I explained a little about Sikhism. The ceremony in the temple was very interesting to watch. It was also my first time in a Sikh temple. The following wedding party was very animating. Everybody danced a lot to Banghra music. I do not know about the newly married couple, but we roommates had an amazing time.

Time to say Goodbye

My time in Chandigarh has come to an end. I have very mixed feelings, because the city has become home for me. I have so many good memories. On the other hand, most of the people I travelled and lived with have gone back. Thus, I have the feeling that it is the right time to go, too. This weekend we went back to Delhi for some sightseeing and this time I really loved the city. If one has time and annoying people do not bother one that much, one can spend a pretty good time here. About an hour ago I said goodbye to my friends who went back to Chandigarh. Tomorrow morning, I will head for the Himalaya. The plane to Bagdogra leaves around 10am. I have the next 3 weeks, but no plan is set in stone yet.

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