There is a major road block at Taktikoti as always. So, the policemen won’t allow us to drive any inch farther than Tsimasham. It is a good experience, but soon I grow impatient. However, I am glad that I could meet two wonderful teachers from Nagaland who are visiting Bhutan for the first time.
Aside from 24-hour wait at the road block site when they first went up to Thimphu, (they are waiting again today while coming down) the two teachers are all praises for Bhutan. They say that from their earlier road block experience, Bhutanese are generally patient and complain less.
Soon, a small crowd of drivers gathers near the policeman. They nearly break into a fight, frustrated and impatient drivers on one side and the angry constable on the other, fingers pointing at each other.
The two teachers are impressed when I tell them that people in the villages drink a lot of alcohol and yet alcoholism is not so much of a problem in the villages. Our people consume ara, but they also work hard in the fields. That neutralizes the effect, I tell them. Anyways, I appreciate villagers’ intake capacities.
As we exit a hotel, our eyes are cast on a man lying down flat, his legs stretched on the narrow pavement. The light rain has no effect on him. Now and then dogs crowd the site for the food that has no place in the drunkard’s stomach. With so much uneasiness I look at the two Indian teachers, but they avoid looking directly on my face.
Three of my co-passengers are Indians.
“What are you going to do with that?” one of them asks, while I put the empty biscuit covers in my pocket as we are about to leave Tsimasham the next day.
“In Bhutan, we always dump garbage in proper places,” I lecture him, with a sense of pride.
“We India throw them carelessly,” he admits, almost lamenting.
And as we near a town, a lady empties her bucketful of waste in the drain!