Second visit to city upsets German hitchhiker
SHILLONG: Hans Lothar Dillenburger, a hitchhiker from Germany who has travelled to 42 countries since 1961, has witnessed a perceptible change in the people of the hill city that has made him upset.
Hans, who is also a boy scout, is currently visiting Shillong for the seond time. Asked about his first visit, he said it was probably 35 years ago.
During a conversation with The Shillong Times, he said, “Back then, people were so nice and helpful, I made a memorable trip. But now, Shillong has changed so much, people are not so nice anymore. The old people have all passed away. People are changing.”
He narrated a recent incident that prompted him to make the remark. “I was in Police Bazaar. A truck was coming and the driver opened the door which hit my right hand and right side of the forehead.”
While showing his bandage wounds, he said with dismay, “Now I cannot play guitar anymore.”
Hans hitched a ride from Darjeeling to Shillong and travelled along with Indian truck drivers, cooked and ate together.
He said the next stop will probably be Nagaland and if not he will go back to Nepal. By the end of the month, he will fly back to Germany.
And in his travel, he also came across different countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Alaska, Canada etc.
He visited several Indian states like Sikkim, Hyderabad, Mysore and Bangalore.
He also met the Dalai Lama, the king of Nepal and the last Nizam of Hyderabad.
Hans is a member of Nerother Wandervogel, an organisation in Germany which is similar to a boy-scout.
“We go hitchhiking around the world. It is all about giving an idea to young generation to travel with less money, sleeping in tents and learning to cook,” he said.
He said hitchhiking helps youths understand the world more by staying in the mountains, deserts and not in hotels.
Stating that it is about adventure, Hans said the young people are taught to do things when the necessary requirements are not around.
“It is about how to make fire when there are no matchsticks, how to get food when there is no food, how to fish and hunt,” he said.
The organisation has over 2,000 members and it gives survival tips as how to protect themselves from the snow and others, the organisation also has extracurricular activities like playing guitar, singing, cooking and working in the castle of the organisation.
Asked on what he gained from his journey around the world, he said, “Knowledge and judging people whether they are good or not and staying away from bad people.”
According to Hans, respect is given when people have money, “When you don’t have money, you are not good. I will publish a book on how people react when you have less money.”
He has invited people of Shillong to meet him as he will stay here for another 10 days at Rainbow Hotel.