Loong time since I set foot on the airport in Leh ( last time it still was just Leh Airport , not the Kushok Bakula.) Bigger, and with supporting wooden pillars painted in Ladakhi style.At least the airport buses haven´t changed much... It has become much more a part of a Kashmir though, as in long repeated security checks : at the second level the apples I got as a parting gift are deemed to dangerous to carried on to the plane(...?!), as well as the external Ipod battery . The kerosene burner is spotted immediately on the X-ray check , but I´m not made to open the pack after I´ve pointed out that it has been aired dry for 24 hours , and that I hardly would have packed the fuel bottle without a cap otherwise.
I do my now regular routine of becoming the group photographer for some young Ladakhis , first in Leh and after arriving in Delhi. Plane filled with Ladakhis in traditional and latest teen fashion ,Sikhs , some southern Indians .. and one other angrezi. Ladkhis giggling and holding on to one another as the first rolling walkway in their life starts.
The ticket office for the HRTC buses : pure Terry Gilliam stuff.We are around fifteen people hanging around the birdcage sized window , waiting for it to open, with the constant din of two angle grinders cutting thru stone just behind us.