With an extra day in Shillong, we could now do what we do best when we aren’t sightseeing – wander around aimlessly and choose to live the local life. Our first scheduled stop for the day was Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures. The museum is situated at a distance of 3 Km from Police Bazaar. We started early and the cool morning breeze made the walk pleasant. As we passed through the familiar winding lanes of Shillong’s residential houses, we stopped occasionally to ask for directions or click snaps. The best part of walking through these lanes is that it isn’t frequented by tourists and that’s why you’d be able to observe local life without any gimmicks. The flip-side however is that since people aren’t used to seeing many tourists, you’d always have a pair of eyes staring at you. By the time we reached the museum, the sun was out and shining. The museum impresses at the entrance itself. The entrance area has figurines of the major communities in North East India. On reaching the souvenir section, a smart museum attendant gave us a brief summary on how the museum functions. Starting from the basement, the museum is 7 stories high. Each gallery has a sensor which turns on the light once a visitor enters. The first few floors highlight various communities, hunting & fishing instruments, industries and musical instruments of people of the North East. There is a section allotted for different religions in the world. Finally, the topmost floor has an audio visual presentation on the warm people of the region. But what truly fascinates, is the view of Shillong Sky Walk on the terrace of the Museum.
We took a sharing cab (25 INR per person) to Bara Bazaar. This bazaar is famous for its farm and meat produce. Like all bazaars, it was bustling with activity. If you are a vegetarian, you might want to skip this bazaar, as the sight of meat might make you queasy. We walked till the taxi stand and tried to hire a taxi and surprisingly they said that Police Bazaar wasn’t far from there. So we walked back to the main market area, Basil picked some berries and we walked back to KFC in Police Bazaar. After a quick meal, we headed back to the hotel to pack our bags and rest till evening.
At 5 p.m. we hired a sharing cab to Café Shillong in Laitumkhrah. We had to search a little, once we reached Laitumkhrah. The whole street has a youth appeal to it with cool eateries serving Naga specialities and art galleries. Rock music blasts through many of these eateries. When we felt we were hungry enough, we entered the first floor restaurant of Café Shillong. The place is tastefully done and the hostesses are quite welcoming. Café Shillong is a fine meeting place for Shillong’s youth and tourists alike. We ordered a coffee and a tea. Every trip must have a faux pas moment and I had mine when I tried to drink the tea with the strainer. A smiling waitress approached me and stopped me from drinking the entire cup with the strainer on. I tried to save face and smiled back and thanked her. We ordered Chicken Bastinga and Chicken Momos to eat. The hostess confirmed if we really wanted to go for the Bastinga (a dish from Nagaland) and I promptly replied yes! Our hostess enquired how our meal was and was pleasantly surprised when we said we liked it and Shillong as well. After we said bye, we tried to hail a cab from the main signal. This time we were charge 100 INR to get back. It was late and we didn’t mind, considering we had a long journey the next day.