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Day 38 of The Candid Odyssey

Our 10-hour overnight train journey takes us to Guwahati in Assam. From here, we take a bus to Shillong in Meghalaya. Lots of travel it seems, right? Not that much. Even though these are separate states, they are small in size and near to each other. And that's why there are many interstate bus services also. Like our shared taxi experiences, the bus also stops in between for breakfast. I still feel guilty for not paying for that restaurant we ate from yesterday. Not risking it again. 

With the beautiful views of lush green hills and Umiam Lake along the way and the journey through the high-range small towns, we reach Shillong. But we have a problem. We don't have an accommodation ready here yet. Couldn't find any affordable stays anywhere nearby. The people who traveled with us also left in their own vehicles parked somewhere. Even though the bus station is huge, there is no transit happening. It's almost empty and there's no one to ask for help. No homes or anything nearby. Basically, we are helpless, again! It's okay, don't worry. Being helpless doesn't mean that we failed, it just means that we can make use of someone's help. It's an opportunity. We should take it. That's why we go through each and every corner of this enormous bus station in search of help. And yes, we find the savior. This time, a person working in the bus station. He leads us to a restaurant cum dormitory. Sketchy place it is, but we have got no other way. And here also, it's just us, no one else. Anyway, let's unpack and get out. 

Shillong is known for its natural beauty as a hill station. Cool weather, a pollution-free atmosphere, and the natural attractions add to that. We can't miss such attractions by any chance, so we go to Elephant Falls first. It's unique in such a way that water falls in 3 steps, like three waterfalls put together into one. 3 in 1 package :) We start from the top of the waterfall and climb down the steps to the bottom. As we climb down, the falls also climb down along with us. It allows us to track the water. As we try to zoom in and track the water, it feels like we are looking at a slow-motion version of the waterfall. The way the water hits a rock and jumps down feels so calm and mesmerizing. And when we zoom out, we witness how rapidly the water flows, in a totally opposite manner. Same scene, two observations. Interesting, right? Hmm, sometimes we need to zoom in to get another perspective of the subject. If we zoom into other's lives, we will see how different they are. Our understanding of someone depends on the degree to which we zoom in. I wish those couples taking photos beside the waterfalls also zoom in, not on camera, but on each other :) 

Next, we will go to the Air Force Museum. A military museum showcasing models of airplanes and helicopters, air force uniforms, tools and weapons, history, northeast culture, and more. Very informative and engaging museum. Museums like this can encourage kids to develop a passion for those fields. Ignite the flames! And for others like us, it can deepen our understanding of the world. We need more museums, good ones. Anyway, there is an Orchidarium nearby, so we can go there to deepen our understanding of plants! Not really, just to enjoy the beauty of those plants. As we get inside the Orchidarium, there is no one else except a gardener. We have got an entire orchid farm for our own to enjoy, haha. We needed that because that much interesting is the collection of orchids and succulents here. Indoor and outdoor plants. We get very tempted to buy many of those beautiful plants, but remembering that we need to carry those in the rucksack throughout our journey fades away that temptation. 

It's evening already and let's get back to the city center. We have been able to commute across these places because of the shared taxis. We don't even need to call or signal to pick up, they will stop by themselves whenever we are on the road standing or walking. Very convenient. But what's not convenient is the traffic near the city center. Stuck in the traffic for more than an hour. Also because of the rains. Anyway, before night, we reach our restaurant-cum-dormitory stay. It really didn't have a name, so what else can we call it? :) Since there are no other guests, we have got an entire hall that can accommodate 10+ people fully for us. And more to that, dinner is getting served on the bed. Wow! There is no one else anywhere nearby except a beautiful female staff who is there for all the service and support. Let's sit beside the window and enjoy the dinner at our own pace. Then read. Then sleep. For the record, she came and cleared the plates sometime later, and nothing else happened :) 

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