philosophical road signs

signs of Nagaland

The road signs all over India l find quite amusing, but Nagaland takes it to a new level — not content to advocate save driving practices, they want to tell you how to live a good life too.  I only have photos of ones l liked, which means the really paternalistic or sappy messages are missing — there is no way l could capture all of them anyway: on the road from Kohima (the capital) headed west, there is a new sign every 500m or so. And one fo the villages along the way added their own signs with famous quotations — everyone from Ayn Rand to Karl Marx and everything you could think of inbetween.  If youre going to have billboards its a good way to go l guess…

trekking towards mt. Everest

wrongway

many thanks to matt for all the lovely photos

Zanscar – India bound

SAMSUNG

The strangest thing about being in India is not speaking the language.  While English is one of the country’s official languages, the common person’s grasp of it is crude at best – Hindi being the real ‘lingua-franca’ in this decidedly large and polyglot nation. Having spent rather a lot of time in Latin America, the sights/sounds/smells of the poverty and improvisation of the so called ‘developing world’ l find familiar, even comforting.  So while l felt welcomed by the din and squalor of the seething mass of humanity that is New Dehli, l was (and still am put off) by my inability to communicate.

My Spanish language skills honed by years of playing small town 20 questions, wherein the questions were always the same.  Order and phrasing varied regionally and individually, accustoming me to the nuances of what’s going on around me.  Even when people are speaking Portuguese l can understand about half of what they say – and certainly get the gist.  But here l’m continually at a loss, this being my first time in India and indeed out of the Western hemisphere. Continue reading…