Ladakh ma-demo duk! Ladakh is very nice! And it’s people, too.
When I walk along the Old Road in Leh, Bardi stops me and simply asks if I want a tea. He is sitting in front of his small, but very nice shop. It’s low tourist season and a good time to know local people. Time to find friends. Of course, the local people are happy to gain money, life is not easy here, but what I have learned in India is that the first idea of selling ends up often in a really good conversation and if you buy or not is not really relevant. I like talking to people, to learn from them how they live, what they think, what are their challenges and what makes them happy.
While drinking a tea together in his small shop Bardi switches on the heater, the temperatures are low outside, around zero degrees Celsius. Probably I’m more used to the cold than all the local tourists coming from warm places to the Himalyas. But here in Leh the winter seasons is still in its early stages…
Well, it feels as if we are friends for a long time already. I sit here on a chair in the middle of the room, and around me there are a huge number of woolen and silk scarfs, nice textiles of all kinds, bags and much more. We talk about the weather and the tea, the place and our families, he explains some curious caracteristics about scarfs, local differences of production … but listen yourself, learn the most import word in Ladakhi and if you come to Leh, feel free to visit him. I’m sure you will have a good time.