In and around town in Shimla

Trip Start Aug 15, 2012
Trip End Jan 10, 2013

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Flag of India  , Himachal Pradesh,
Monday, July 30, 2012

Walking around the streets of Shimla is busy, busy, busy with people walking and shopping. The Mall area is 95% pedestrian only, the exceptions are government cars, ambulances etc and they all need permits. 

Shimla is a non smoking city and has been since 2 October 2010. The reason I know is because there are signs everywhere saying so. You are also not allowed to spit, if you are caught it is a 500 rupee fine ($8.80). Despite the small fine we weren't game to do it :). 

The town has also banned plastic bags. There are none around mind you it doesn't mean there is no rubbish lying around. Shimla is the cleanest town we've seen so far and the locals seem quite proud of this.

Our guide Raju (not his real name) was very helpful in obtaining a sim card for us to use. We had to go to two shops, one for the sim and the other to have the sim card chopped down to a micro sim. We have seen no iPhones around here so it's no surprise there is no market for them here. 

Our hotel did not have Internet access and Leigh had one more assignment to finish and we needed internet to submit it. The Internet is excruciating in its reliability and slowness but it will do the job.

We visited the monkey temple called Jakhu Temple where around 1,000 monkeys live along with the 2455 meters high cement monkey, orange in colour. 

There were some rules:

Don't wear sun glasses - the monkeys will take them and won't give them back until you give them some food. Maybe that explains the food cart vendor at the entrance?

Don't take food in there - the monkeys will know and will take it.

Don't show you are nervous - the monkeys will think you are hiding food and try to find it.

Don't look the monkeys in the eye - they will get aggressive.
...needless to say, we were packing it!

Apparently Indian tourists don't like to be told what to do and when our guide suggests they remove their sunglasses off they do not... and they suffer the consequences.

Raju lives 1.5 hours from Shimla but shares a small flat with a friend in town because it is too far to travel on the packed buses every day. Boy, the buses are PACKED! He took us an hour out of town to a more rural area near his place. We went to a golf course that he worked at as a caddie for 12 years before becoming a tour guide. His family working there every Sunday when the city folk came to play golf was the main income for his family. 

The golf course was closed for golf while all the locals bring their cows, horses, goats, etc to feed on the lush grass. Free food for the local farmer's animals and free mowers for the golf club. The farmers stay there with them as the animals fight... it's mostly the girls from the farmers family. The whole experience doubles as a place for girls to meet the guys.

Shimla will always be remembered by us as the place where Leigh submitted his last two assignments! It wasn't easy, our touring time was reduced while we sat in our hotel rooms, the Internet quality was very poor which caused some frustration but it was all worth it! Now he has finished and we are happy to report he already has his assignments marked and he has finished with great marks which means his MBA is FINISHED!! Yippeeee! Graduation is in October so when we go back to Sydney we will pick up his certificate.
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