Thoughts

The curve in the planet

One day morning I see myself walking on these streets and I realized, something has changed. Earlier for example in Iran, standing or walking on the planet, if I made myself long, somehow I could still, looking back, see Germany. Sure it is not actually possible or was, but it still felt not so far and it was kind of visible. Now, it’s not possible. I can’t see Germany anymore. It’s around the corner on this planet. And I am not able to look around the round planet. 😊😊😊

Money

Being in Kargil I went to a bank. I had my safety money from my sister with me, but I had 2000 Rupies pieces, what’s about 28€ and I thought maybe on the country side that can’t change. And that was still the money not to use. Standing in the line, I had just 500 Rupies from the donation money left. And I had on my account another 13€ donation money, which I kind of ‚forgot‘, because I could not pick it up , because of fees. But this is left over from donations and this 13€ I can take from the money I carry with me, because it has nothing to do with credit money. So suddenly I had 1500Rupies/20€ back in my pocket. Surprise.

But in general I thought also, why is this happening. Should it be a sign or a test? Or did it only happen, because Afghanistan took so much money? Or does it mean, the pilgrimage is finished? And actually I had still some money left. I did not have to hunger and anyway, I know, it’s also possible without…..

I am All

When people asked me, what religion I am, I always said: I am everything. And I really ment it. Sure I am follow not all the rules of all religions, but I understand, that they are all routed in the same fundation, Love and Peace. Because of this foundation of Love and Peace, what is the basic of all religion I can truely say, that I am everything.

So now here especially in Kashmir, people just ignored the fact, that it means, that I am also a Muslim. That people did not get it, I was always confronted with, but this kind of ignorance was stronger and sometimes I got even, because of this ignorance, a little bit angry. They just did not believed what I was talking about, and I always spoke truly from my heart.

So, where there right, on one level, that is was not my truth anymore? Should I change or was it a sign to speak in another way?

My deep understanding on this journey is, that ‚I Am All‘. First I thought that this ‚I Am All‘ is that I Am everything, what is also true. But later I understood that it can be also written as I AM = ALL. It just means the same. I AM and ALL means the same. Because I AM is ALL. Coming to this realisation I understood also, that I AM is also THAT (everything). It’s just all ONE. I AM, ALL, THAT, ONE, it’s all the same. Being THAT is just everything. And there is no separation between anything. Outside and inside.

Understanding and realizing this truth, it is also true, as I said, that I don’t follow all the rules of all religions. I only follow the rules who come from the deeper truth, the truth which is based on the ONE IT. Religions should bring us to a point, where we ‚get it‘ by our selves. If we get it, we are able to receive the message from our God-Selves, what is the direct connection to the ALL-IT……

And this only can be understood with the HEART, what is no difference between ALL and IT and I AM.

……..

Since around 27 years, I study the language of the Heart.

 

Blessings

Thomas

Ladakh

Going downhill I realized, no vegetation. ??? On the Kashmir side much more green. Deciduous forest and pine trees. Here nothing, here and there a bush. At the villages cultivated plants. This is a total different climate, kind of desert. Kashmir side until 3000m green, Ladakh side just plain. Only this little pass in between. Zoji La is also closed in winter, from December to February/March. Also on Ladakhi side the first villages are abandon in winter,  But 30km behind the pass people live there also in winter. Isolated from fresh vegetables and fruits or other goods.

People here speak very many different languages. For example in Thasgum the people speak ‚Shina‘, a language spoken by only 500 people. This language is not a written language. So at school they learn, ladaki, urdu, hindi and english, maybe even kashmiri.

The last 36 km from Thasgum to Kargil I decided during the day to go it all. Even though such a beautiful village after more than 20km could not stop me. First buddhist signs. The Dalai Lama was once in Chanigund to bless a place. But very very special. One steep hill side was completely green. Over and over with trees. Some 300 or 400 meters higher than the valley. I was established. Irrigated from a higher little river. I am sometimes curious, who had this wonderful idea. Often it’s just one person, who influences a village in a positiv or negativ way. And the forest kind of hangs on the mountain. Its steep. I witnessed also the influens of the people, if positiv thinking or negativ thinking in so many villages on my journey. And that is sometimes the influens of one shop keeper or imam/priest/teacher/thinker/….. And I guess, often this multiplicaters are not always aware of what they are doing for there society. Also people and athmosphere where beautiful but I continued the journey to Kargil. Some 100m later I met Maqsood who invited me in his home.

A little later I see a poster from Khomeini and Chameini at a pole beside the street. Shiia muslems are having the both presidents of Iran also as a religious leaders. I just think: tolerant India.

Before reaching the 2nd biggest place in Ladakh, Kargil, and kind of half way to Leh, crossroad also to the Zansgar range and valley, I was unexpected impressed by the gathering of the Drass river, which I am followed since 80 km and the Suru river, which came through Kargil from the south. There was such a power, when they  met and continued there way towards Parkistan. This river will meet soon after the north border the Indus, coming from the east. Wooow, I had to stay here for a long while, knowing I have maybe already someone waiting for me in Kargil.

Another surprise. Maqsood was already walking towards me, because his telefon was out of order and I would not been able to reach him. I love this kind of promises very much. So we walked the last 4 km together. 

Arriving exhausted at his home, a simple one room place. Situated in a half ready 2 or 3 floor house. The way to his room unsaved on a small 1m way without any handrail. And his room, what he sometimes shares with his brother is partly used as a kitchen, without airing the place at all. So the room is full of fungus. Also the blanket I should sit on seemed to be not the cleanest. I was standing in the room, unconciously not ready to sit down here, and consciously kind of arriving. But Maqsood and his brothers and friends where very kind and friendly, but often had not the concentration, to listen to my answer until I was finished, even though they had asked the questions. During my answer I was again attacked with new questions, so it was a bit breathless. Inner space – outer space. Room space – mind space. They also invited me to stay another night. First I agreed, because in need, but next morning I had to change my plans, I got some flea bites and when I was coming back from the toilett, the brother was enjoying a morning cigarette. So I could not enter the room. What I did not know then, I also got a big huge herpes there. That was still in process to show its full flower, nearly all my lower lip was and is – two weeks later – affected. So I said good bye.

Maqsood explained the day before that he plans to go to the Indian army. I was kind of happy to hear that, not, because I like someone to be in the army, but it showed, that he and his brother, who is serving at the police, that they are not against India in general, and that’s what I feel, since I am in Ladakh more. .. But then, during the evening, they also showed me two Muslim armed fighters in white clothes, and it was clear, that simpatised with this Muslim fighters. When I saw the picture on there smart phone, I said: These are not Muslims. Very irritated they looked at me and asked, why not? I said: I learned, and this is what Muslims tell me all the time, Islam is the most peaceful religion, so these guys can not be Muslims. They had to think. Do you want to wear guns from the Indian state at day time and fight for the Indian state and at night time you swop to another position? So crazy.

And I myself was also aware, by not staying in the village Chanigund, maybe not being mindful enough, a village where I felt warm and welcoming…… by not doing so, not staying there, to provocate or invite a situation for me, where there is no space. I give myself no space so ’no space‘ outside is arising. (See also the article ’space‘ which I wrote after leaving the brothers, some articles down)

the first pass, Zoji La 3.529m

In Sonamarg I try to find out, and I thought it’s the last place before the pass, what to prepare….. From the village it’s not far to a beautiful glacier. I took just some fotos, because the way is my challenge enough. And if no-one brings me by kind service to one of the sightseeing places, I have to do enough with the way….. Lots of shops offer some useful snacks, dried fruits or nuts, also bananas for the way….. I met Maqsood and we have at least an hour conversation in the mosque garden. Without effort I tell from my journey, he is a good questioner but can wait for the complete answer, about religions, and the way of the heart…… At the end he said: This is the best day of my life, until today….. In big happiness we went our ways. At the next bridge I enjoyed the turquoise colour of the glacier water…..  continued my way to the ‚last‘ Kashmir village named ‚Sarbal‘. Sarbal is on the other side of the river and I had to cross this crazy ‚unstable?‘ ‚unsafe?‘ ‚without handrail‘ ‚holes between the it look likes improvised wooden pieces‘ ‚in 8m above the water’….. But I had to go there. Only this about 30 houses in the area….. to find a place for the night. So I took all my braveness, all my heart together. My nerves went crazy, especially at the second part of this ordinary bridge….. and I reached the other side.

Sheikh Sulfikar, the only English speaking guy in the village, is responsible for this kind of visiters, who show up from time to time. His father’s house, directly behind the mosque, has a wonderful guest room with nearly all around view. During the early evening a heavy rain shower, after a wonderful rainbow towards ‚the gate of‘ Ladakh. The next morning Sulfikar wants to make some selfies on!!! the bridge. After some hesitation I was surprised. It did not cost so many nerves. A good hug and on the way to the pass. Thanks my dear host, thanks to all my dear host. So grateful.

It’s 35 km to walk to come to the next village. Even though, the highest pass will be 5350m after Leh, and this one is nearly 2000m lower, I have respect. As usual, lots of military on the road. They always have something to exercise or just being busy, and they have quite a population in the area. The street is organized in ‚morning east traffic‘ and ‚afternoon and evening west traffic‘ and I think because of the narrow roads, but in fact nobody takes care and there is also no need, because at a long periods there are even 2 roads, leading east or west, but also no-one takes care. 😊😊😊

In the middle of the ‚way up‘ I meet three soldiers. A shrine memoring a deadly accident years before. They have the duty to renovate the shrine, make some fresh colour. The shore has a Christian part and a Hindu part.  So I ask them, where is the Muslim part? I expect an answer, maybe I don’t expect, but something like ‚the Muslims don’t like this so much…. but they say: we don’t like the Muslims in this area. We like Muslims in India but in Kashmir there are crazy…. I am really astonished by this answer and respond: don’t you have the duty to build bridges to avoid another conflict? Do you think the Muslims disappear here?  They are making a lot of babies and I don’t think they go away. So you have to begin building bridges, at least try to come together and find solutions…. I do not say that’s always easy, but to do not so let’s the conflict arise more and never solve a problem‘. They where obviously touched and shocked by my words and couldn’t say anything in the moment. But a selfie with the peace walker was still possible. Hello and good bye. 

The pass was not so far away anymore. Some stands even with some coffee or maggi to offer. Water or lays chips. All the rubbish in the dry river bed. Mother earth will take care later.. .. 😕😕😕 A snow field at the pass what creates drop by drop two little creek in both directions..

And soooo many workers. The day before I witnessed some of them on the power poles in airy hights erecting element by element by pure hand work. At least I see here and there safety belts from the distance. There are so many workers from the south here to make this service to the Kashmiries and Ladakhies, besides earning also some little money. In the nights people stay close to there working places in tents. There is also no other solution for hundreds and thousands of this men. They have simple conditions, easy cooking gear, washing themselves in the river….. its kind of weared to have so many people walking and working at a pass….. and along the roads. This men nearly all have the same statue, maybe 1,60m high, dark skin, nearly everyone young, and always gathering a little bit shy in a group. First I thought they are from Bangladesh, Myanmar or so, because I could not communicate with them, (in Greece people with the same behaviour arrived as refugees and I had to welcome them, there where from Bangladesh and Myanmar) but later I found out, how to bring a smile on there faces. Lots of these workers also working in repairing or road construction. Once I met a group of Kashmiries (what is rare), they told me, they earn 500 Rupies a day/7€.

Then the next surprise. Two cyclers from Germany stopped by, Lukas and Katharina. We had such a long conversation, that I was not sure if I would reach the next village before dark.

Matayen I reached kind of caughfing, also my nose was running. The cold I still cultivated since Srinagar. After a comment that no-one has a possibility to host me, they gave me a room with such a big wonderful window and mountain view. This would also be a good stay for a break day….. I thought by myself…… They have two mosques in the village, looking nearly the same, 100m away from each other, one for Sunni, one for Shiia moslems. And the very big surprise came in the early morning. Moslems pray, before the dawn is to see in any way and I heard the call of the Imam in the middle of the night. But after the regular prayer they started singing. The Sunni Moslems, close to my place where singing and dancing a sikr. A Sikr is a dance where the group member maybe hold themself at the hand and standing in a circle. After a while movement joins in. The people moving around the center of there heard, bowing downwards to the earth, to the sky and in a heart half moon from left to right and right to left, depends on the prayer. Sometimes the Sikr gets really organic and quicker and prayers can come into trance, or the whole group. On all the journey I never heard Muslims doing this ritual, because it’s more known in the Sufi circle. This was such a gift in this morning. It was done with lots of sensitivity and it streamed softly from the mosque also to my room and directly into my heart. Maybe they sang 1h and I enjoyed every moment, being half awake. And it resonated in my heart so many many more hours. What a beautiful gift to arrive to Ladakh.

Gund

In the rain dropping day, little rain, I suddenly meet some kids on the street. They push self made cars in front of them. They are so proud of there cars, which are very properly done by dads help.

After 18 km, started only at 1pm, I arrive a little bit exhausted in Gund. Everyone tells, that I can’t stay in that village. No-one will host me. I am, little bit surprised by these statements, let them know, that I will ask the Imam in the mosque. The mosques in the area look here and there a bit like churches. Coming to the mosque, the people don’t allow me to enter. Later I understand, in this village or areas non Moslems are not allowed to enter. But no-one asked me, if I am maybe a Moslem. It’s just so clear for them…..

The Imam will come to the evening prayer. They gave me a chair for waiting and lots of people where standing around. I asked them, how many people are living in this village and someone said 20.000. I guess, around 3000 is more correct. Anyway: How can they be so sure, that no-one in the village could host me? How can it be possible, that 3000 Muslims can’t host a strainger. Which Imam is responsible for this kind of teachings? I told them all this questions. And from my experience I don’t know, that a non Muslim is not allowed to enter a mosque. Is that only in the village or area or….?

After a while Aabid appeared and promised to help me. A men a bit younger than 30 is the hosting facility manager of a tunnel project some km ahead. It takes another 2 hours, but then he is ready to bring me in the car of the director of the whole project, Eskesing, towards the location. Eskesing is around 50, came all the way down from the project, and is exercising with this car, because he did not have a driver license earlier. He apologize for his unsafe driving, but I am fine. It’s not unsafe, just slow…. 😊😊😊 The hosting place is a former hotel, the lobby is changed in lots of working desks, and this place and the people who work here, have space, inside and outside. I have not been in a place with so much space for month, for sure not for all the time in Afghanistan. During the delicious meal, made by 3 cooks, I feel, how my back, also my lower back expand into this space. I feel so wonderful. And the same with the room, not only big, but a athmosphere of space. I love it.

With Eskesing I qickly come in a nice conversation. I ask him what he all things of ‚free Kashmir‘ as an Indian and I tell him a bit, what I all heard in the last week. He is not a friend of a ‚free Kashmir‘ and don’t believes in the promisis of Parkistan to the Kashmiries. Also he has a lot doubt what would happen, if Kashmir go free. How could they defend themself? And would get China maybe interested. He himself finds everywhere clever and kind people, who he always respect, and he finds them also here. With the others he is just not getting involved to much with. About the arguing about the power stories, he can’t confirm. This stay is just so good – because of the welcoming and the space.

Next morning I got brought back to the place where I stopped walking. It’s a day of difficult steps and I regret, that I did not ask for a second night to stay. Later I hear it would have been possibly possible. I met also Eskesing with some more driving experiences on the road, but he is not responsible for the housing….. Anyway, there came another solution.

The walk continues

Yeah. Finally the walk continues.

Still with all what I have to work through, in my system, from Afghanistan

Still not have been really there in India

After this exhausting journey from Dehli to Jammu to Srinagar

Restless nights on the house boat

And this overwheming couchsurfing visit at Imram’s

I want to leave this tension area of the city and get hopefully in the more calming atmosphere of the mountains.

In the city, 2 days before 70th independence day in Parkistan, 3 days before 70th independence day of India every 30 Meters 2 or 3 Indian armed soldiers. (500000 until 1 Million soldiers are based in Kashmir and Ladakh)

I am so happy to be on the way again. Just 500 km air line away from Kabul. After not getting a Visa for Parkistan, a good compromise to continue at the same level (degree of latitude) east.

Close to Dal Lake I find a ‚poster‘ scenery. 2 typical small river boats left on a river bank in a forest. The water overgrown with sea weed. A image of pure silence. (you can find fotos of instagram: schmockelthomasheinrich)

Reaching the entrance of the first valley next morning. Puhh ….. What a nice view….. And the climate is suddenly so changed. A brise of fresh air from the glacer water river. And there is such a nice simple outdoor restaurant. I enjoy the scenery and the location, looking forward of entering the mountains valleys – 436 km to Leh (for the beginning)

It is strange: Before you come in a real conversation with someone. They always want to hear, that it is so beautiful here. Calls of praise. It is really beautiful, but this behavior is exceptional. Towards the evening it’s starts to rain a bit and I immediately have a invitation. Some guys, working in a traditional souveniershop, selling fabrics, scarfs and carpets offer there sleeping space to share. Blankets and mats brought out to the floor. Ready is the rest area.

Arriving in in Kashmir, everyone who I told my story, that I knock in the evening at the doors to ask for a free place to stay, and even for food…. everyone said, that will not work here. I will nowhere find a free place to stay. I found it in every country (with exeptions in Afghanistan) and so it continues here. My budget is extremely small this time. I have around 20 € left. My account is empty. Afghanistan and the flight and arriving in India took all my last donations. I have some lented money from my sister with me, for emergencies, but I don’t want to use it. A peace walk on credit, no, I don’t like.

Life is not easy in Kashmir. There is for example the power situation. Second evening in a row there is no electricity, yesterday a bit. With that often no internet connection. So everyone sits in the dark. Even the shop has no generator. Aaqib explaines: ‚The Indians are stealing our electricity. We are the richest state in whole India. Now they have build a huge power station at the Indus. Have you seen that, he adds accusing. They take all our energy and they serve 95% of India with our energy, but they leave us nothing….. you see how they are with us….. they even leave us not a little bit for us self….‘ ‚We all want a free Kashmir and only Parkistan is helping us with that‘ he continues….. nobody is supporting us with a free Kashmir. The only country which supports us, is Parkistan – and United Nations also had an ear on it… But no other country is supporting us…. The Indians have one million soldiers here to give us no freedom, they want Kashmir….‘ he adds. I for myself have not seen the power station, and even all the power poles are not erected. And it seems that they will have only 3 or 4 power cables possible to install. So I mention to him, that this can’t be a true information. To serve a nation with 1.2 billion people needs to have so much more effort. For me it feels, that lots of the Kashmiries want to have a enemy image in India. And later the evening I get also invited to be honest with my opinion: I mention that I still think, to be with India is the best option for Kashmir. The acceptance of different religions in one country is in India so long experienced and also political I see being with India is a better option then with Parkistan or China. And I don’t see a freedom of Kashmir so much, how do they want to defend themthelf between this nations,  if something happens? And that’s all just a feeling, I continue…. (some days later I think: if Parkistan is supporting a free Kashmir, why don’t they have freed the from Parkistan controlled Kashmir not by yet. I have the feeling, the Muslim Parkistan is playing with there brothers on India Kashmir side – but it’s just a intuition)

Salim shows me around in two villages nearby. Both very beautiful. One of them is directly located at the ‚Sind‘ river. There he explains and shows me a home made carpet. The images are coming from Persian times. This specific carpet we see, will take maybe a year to complete, so little fine knots….. And we have to watch everything with torch light, no power. …

Next morning. A rainy day. I can stay. Aaqib tell me that he always liked to stay in Goa in the winter. A lots of years. Now the government don’t like to have the Muslims there anymore. He is not going anymore.

I repair my trouses. And at the afternoon, I feel, where is here my space? Outside its raining, but very little. My trouser I repaired on the stairs under a roof and inside, people are smoking. I deside to walk. I be honest in explaining my decision. Grateful for stay, invitation and food I step on the way again.

 

 

 

 

Srinagar

Dear friends,

Finally this is the time to write. I am sitting on top of a bed in Leh, in a nice hostel, surrounded by goods friends, which give space …….

It was quite an adventure to find the night bus to Jammu. Three, four people directed me in different directions. I myself expected a big bus station like in Turkey……. but in the end I found a small office in a side street, surrounded by other offices and signs and posters, but I was right there. My first night bus with sleeping cabins. Fine. Sleep was more or less possible.

In my bones and in my system I carry the experiences from Afghanistan, parts of it needs still to be diguested. Also the flight to Delhi and a new country concioussness. Little light sightseeing with Prabat during the first day in the city, a guy from Sri Lanka, who applied for Visa to Estonia, for his studies…. and succeeded….. And a night of dancing. Uuuuuhhh. I have not done that for 1 1/2 year. And it was so good. Prabad had the idea and Ali from Irak, who never danced in a place, where also women are present. We all had one in common: we don’t drink Alcohol….. But even not drinking made a kind of hangover.

Anyway. Arriving in Jammu. The Taxi drivers where already waiting and it was so easy with the help of some night travellers to find a place in a cap. Little refreshing and the journey continued. Nearly 300 more km are waiting to Srinagar. Srinagar lays on an elevation of 1600m surrounded by mountains. To get there we have to get over some 2.800m pass along lots of winding roads. Yes I am in India. Lots of monkeys at the side of the road. The Taxi driver drives safe, but he is a fast driver and horns all the time. In one village I really had something to say, people where jumping to the side….. And the journey took much longer, then expected. All the winding roads….. And the indian women music voices are so shrill, pain in my tired system and ears…..  In the back of the car three young men. As we finally come through the second tunnel they express: this is Kashmir, this is ours. This is our land, we want it back, free Kashmir!!!! Innerly I break together. Oh, another tension area….. I can’t stand more of this conflict, tension areas any more.

I knew there was a conflict here, but I thought it was more between India and Parkistan. And about that I was very aware. But that the Kashmiries by themself want a ‚free Kashmir‘ – I kind of missed this. Last year after some conflict and 6 dead people on the Kashmir side, there was even a ban of going out for half a year. Even though I have been last year so much in the net, that part I completely missed.

I had to move into another cap because the three young men have another direction. Little while later we got followed by a motorcycle and it seems I am the object. Soon after one of the motorcyclists, Sayad, sits also in the Taxi. He starts his advertisement. He shows me a business card with a beautiful white coloured house boat on a blue lake. Its his house boat and the fee is starting with 500 Rupies /7€. Even though my money is running out soon I find the offer interesting. I am so done and tired. Because of regulation by the government my and any prepaid phone registered in India is not working in Kashmir. So I have no access to my couchsurfing account, can’t check if I have some answers on my requests. I am kind of willless and follow Sayad. He ‚buys‘ me from the Taxi driver (200 Rupies), as he confessed a little bit later, because the Taxi driver did not want me go, he had other planes of book me in a hotel, where he also benefits……

Arriving at the house boat – a complete different story. The boat was not on a clear blue lake, but at a sand brown river, the boat itself brown coloured and old. Sayad disappeared and left me with his father Abdul, who wants me to see the more expensiv room and liked me to book a full breakfast dinner arrangement, cooked by his lovely caretaking wife. Willless I booked the 500 Rupies room, a mat on the floor and it looked a bit like a used and old sheets and blankets. And a meal for the evening. They did not believe me, that I am nearly out of money. Anyway dinner was nice. But no promised WIFI – I had to find a internetplace to see if my couchsurfers colleges left a message. Anyway – the information on the couchsurfing platform came through with delay and took me three days to arrange something. In the meantime I was ‚fixed‘ on the boat and Abdul offered me on and on some sightseeing tours, for example on a boat through the channels, lakes and rivers of Srinagar, but I refused all, just no money left for it. In the boat I had some hard nights. Mosquitoes, a fan, what produced a cold, and one night some old energies, I did not really find out what, if souls or just old thinking and memory structures, but I was busy for hours, to clean that structures, who where in the room and below. Abdul always said he is not into money so much, but everything he talked about, was about money….. Finally he offered me a reduction, but when I left earlier, he insisted that we had an agreement for 4 more night, and I have to pay it all…..

It was good to leave the boat, on which I anyway could not find a rest……  Abdul and his wife and lots of people that really have it not easy. Because of the Kashmir conflict not so many tourist show up….. The city itself has so a big potential with all the water streets and so many old houses. But the whole city needs a renovation, they need to open restaurants and cafes at the rivers, channels, and lakes side …. and then it’s a jewel.

During my stay I visited a Hindu shrine on a top of a smaller mountain. 800 years old. From there I had a beautiful view over he whole city and the enormous water street system. A Venice in Kashmir. The city also moved a bridge some hundreds meter further to build a better road and kept the old bridge structure, constructed on top a wooden relaxing area, with shade places, banches and so on. I met some interesting people on the bridge, nice conversations. Some of the men I met there, said while going, I should continue my teachings next day……

Finally I moved over to my couchsurfing host. Imran and all the family had there first foreign guest ever in there house. The day before, there was the engagementparty of his sister, so there where soooo many guest in the house. 25 to 30 people overwhelmed me breathless with questions. Also all the women where in the room, what I don’t know from Afghanistan. And supercoloured dressed in Indian style. But there are all Moslems, the colours are used in there culture. After a while a needed a break and visited a Sikh temple. I witnessed more police and Indian army on the street. Independence day of Parkistan and India coming soon. At ‚home‘ again, I was asked, if I was hungry,  and I said I will eat later with them, when they are ready. Dinner is always late a 8 or 9pm+, but luckily not so late then in Iran. After another bombardment of question I had to get another break…. Imran, the only men responsible for all the organisation (his father is not able anymore and he is the only son) sent me to a empty room. A little nab. After they had dinner, he called me down to the living room again. I was so irritated, that they had eaten already….. and after some questions and insisting questions from my side, I was shocked to hear, that they don’t eat together with ’non-moslems‘. So shocked, that I gave my food back. Anyway I was not so hungry and second there were onion in the souce – and I have a onion allergy, third, everyone was restless to sleep and where waiting, that I finish my rice….. All the mats got on the floor, but the shock did not let me sleep for at least an hour. So this I had to communicate the next morning. I also told them the day before, that I am all religions. That means I am also a moslem, I even got once a official paper from a Mufti in Jerusalem (because I wanted also to walk to Mekka). So even on official paper I am a Christian,  a Buddhist and a Moslem. The family was ashamed to speak about the eating topic and I found out and they confessed, that this behaviour is only in there family. I was a bit released, because it means its not a general behaviour, even though I had to eat in some other family by myself – but I did not ask for the reasons – because of circumstances.

Imran was very courious to find out all about me. Also about what I carry around. So he got some spoons of iranian Henna the day before. I made almost 25 peace birds for the family. My Afghanian dress I gave to him too. The family of 30 people could not wait to get more presents, so all my kilo dates where given to them. Later, because more questions of presents where arising I distributed the rest of my food for the next day to them, apples and even a lemon, they took….. When it was time to go and to start walking, Imran did not want me let go and asked to stay 2 hours more, ok. Then he found out, looking through my pictures, that I had still 2 turquoise from Iran with me. If he could have them. I also gave them to him. Even though one of the nephews if him realised and mentioned to Imram, that he really takes everything from me……. But always when it came to the point, when he could profit from the fact, that I am a peace walker and I just wanted to give him some deeper ideas, then he did not have time anymore. So I left. All together it was a heart warming experience and gathering.

space II

And the Space raised up

After the last post I found space. Not only inside but also in all of the upcoming sleeping locations. Soooo gooood. And relaxing.

I have again and still so much more to report. Until I don’t have two full days rest with internet access, so I can use one day for reporting, you have to wait. Internet is not always avaible in Kashmir-India.

But I want to let everyone know that I am fine. Ladakh is a joy for me. Arriving in the ‚Buddhist area‘ feels also beautiful – and somehow ‚home‘?

Upcoming are the last 115 km to Leh. Then a rest and orientation there. After the challenging 500 km from Leh to Manali which includes some passes around and above 5000m. On that way also not to many villages…..

Love and hugs

Thomas

 

space

Dear friends,

I have tremendously much to report. And I don’t find the space for it.

There is this big need for space, where you meet in respect and dignity. There is this need of space while meeting people and hosts. 

There is the contrast from nature with so much space and greatness. And narrow roads and places. Poorness and indignity.

I am already in Kargil at the crossroad to Zansgar and Leh. In the morning I had to leave a room (I had a invitation for another night), owned by 2 brother students. I really like them, but I could not stay. All the room is full of fungus, from cooking in it and not airing the space. Here and there a cigarette, let my fly out of there in the early morning.

Looking for some space to arrive in the morning, I went down to the river. Beautiful stones and big trees looked inviting at the river bank. But a stream on grey water was flowing in there too. I went a bit further down, and I found out, this is the city toilett. At the other side of the river also a nice shadowy area. But no way to get into…..

A city who lives from the beauty of the nature is not able to enjoy….. it

 

 

 

Kashmir

Dear friends,

I finally arrived in Srinagar in Kashmir in north India.

From here I will start walking to Leh in Ladakh and then south to Manali. There are very high passes to cross. The highest is 5.300m.

On the way I can only use internet, when there is WIFI provided in some places. So maybe very little blog or other communication possible.

A new situation. All my money is gone. First time in 5 years and 3 1/2 month I had to ask my sister to lent me some money. Anyway. Its amasing how much money you where sending me to solve all the issues in Afghanistan. I am soooo greatful for that.

I only slowly understand that I arrived in India and Kashmir. I was so so so exhausted after Afghanistan and the travel journeys. Slowly coming back to myself.

Hugs to you all.

Th🌞mas

Kabul-Delhi

Next destination India!!!!

My Afghanistan Visa could not been extended.

I could not get a Pakistan Visa.

So, on Saturday, 5th of August I arrive to India.