Mr. and Mrs. Pradan took us for an evening walk at the bazaar last night. It was shortly after dusk, the bazaar was still active, but not too busy. Some people were doing their last minute shopping before shops closed for the night.

mangan05.jpg

“Please enjoy your last time in the bazaar.” Mr. Pradan said with his usual smile – peaceful and gentle. “Don’t say like that. They will come back again, in May or June 2008.” Mrs. Pradan jokingly replied. We all laughed.

The bazaar looked more neat and tiny than usual under the diming light. It is indeed a quiet little town which cater for the local market of the ‘hill’ people. You can hardly find any reasonably good guesthouse or restaurant here. Besides us, we saw nearly no foreigner during the period of our stay.

Mr. Pradan always calls people who live in the foothill of himalayas ‘hill people’, and refers those who live in lowland as ‘plain people’. “More plain people come and open shops here. They don’t really carrying goods we want and they don’t understand what we need.” It stirred my awareness of how influential an environment to our life style.

Unlike us (people who live in the ‘plain’ area), living in the hill has its limitation in terms of materials comfort. Water supply is usually the huge problem to some areas. Gas supply comes every 2-3 months to Mangan. When it comes, most of the time the big tank has only half filled and not sufficient to every households. Therefore, some households are still using firewood for cooking.

mangan01.jpg

Anything that breakdown would take ages to fix as expertise normally come from the nearby cities such as Siliguri or Gangtok. No clinic or GP in town, one small hospital was just relocated on the upper part of Mangan. There are couple of drug stores though and I find them carry substantial enough medicine for more than common illnesses…

Power blackout is a usual phenomenon in most of the Sikkim villages. Last night the power went off until this morning while we were packing our luggage under romantic moonlight. It was full moon, perhaps 15th September on the Chinese calendar. I do miss home in moment like this…

“Lots of mean people in big cities, cheat, pollution and struggle to survive. People are rather simple here, though some of them are quite ignorant…” Mr. Pradan said as the matter of fact, when being asked by his children to live in city.

Me, the so called ‘plain’ people, definitely find it challenging to live here where resources are scarce. It certainly stretched my comfort zone. Teaching in a school here is a eye-wide open experience.

mangan04.jpg

The picture above was taken on our last day in Mangan just before sunset. I instructed Alex to post in front of our bedroom where the terrace is. Can you see her in the picture?

Jing

Advertisements