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I Like it here!

INDIA | Wednesday, 30 May 2007 | Views [895]

Sparkling clean Delhi Subway

Sparkling clean Delhi Subway

Well I have departed the rainy and damp hill station of Darjeeling. I didn't even buy tea. The journey to Delhi was long, yet eventful. First I took a 31/2 hour shared jeep to the nearest train station in Silliguri. We passed through a town named Kuresong that was filled with lovely rolling hills filled with tea bushes and overlooking a river...This seems to be where most of the tea comes from, sort of like the Napa Valley of Tea. Even saw a sign declaring TAZO IS NOW IN DARJEELING! Hum. The weather was perfect, we sped along and I was immersed in the richness of the region. After a 2 hour wait in a room with no windows, I boarded the super fast Rajdani Express (only 22 hours) with my 2nd class expectations. ( It was definitely "economy class" ) It was pleasant enough, with a few minor irritations thrown in. I wanted to take the train. Wouldn't have properly traveled in India without a few long haul train rides under my belt, right? Well. Not sure why I talked myself into it.There were no other Westerners on the train with me. None. Just me in  my single sleeper across from 1 Indian Family. One Dad, One Mom, Another couple and 3 kids. All three loud with that high decibel voice I talk frequently about. Then next to them a Nepali family. Curtain was closed the entire trip, but from the sound of it, must have been 6 people in there.( including another screaming child with no adult interested in suggesting him/her to shut up). I must say, the trip went faster than I expected as uncomfortable as it was. I was only asked where I was from 6 times. Yes, it has begun to get so damn tiring. People are curious and want to know "what is your country"?,"where are you from"?, "Your Motherland is where"? If I say America then I have to also add what city. I then have to say my name and how long I have been in India and of course if I like it here, which I don't, so the conversation usually ends and I am set free until I run into the next curious person in country of millions. Sunrise was gorgeous and calm. I was even treated to a front seat view of the hundreds of Indians taking their morning poo by the track sides. Not sure it would be my first choice, but privacy has little meaning here. I was shocked to discover that it was Summer in Delhi and that I love it there. It is clean, a mixture of new and old, full of incredible history at every step, a spotlessly clean and efficient subway system, coffee shops, book stores, paved roads, a city center and great shopping. Who knew! Even at 102 degrees, I found myself wanting to explore. There is even a "Time Out Delhi" filled with restaurant, bar and Spa reviews. I found the city to be very expensive comparatively, but a great place to begin and end a trip. And I must add, that the up in your face ball-scratching and penis-pulling-through-the-pants that is so common everywhere was also a rare spectacle. I left after 2 days to visit a monk friend of mine in Tso Pema (Indian name is Rewalsar). I got on a bus at 7pm and arrived in Mandi at 8am. I will spare the  stories of discomfort, no toilet and incessant staring. (again I was the only westerner, and a lone female at that.) Dropped off on a corner, I carried my bags to the bus depot (in view) and boarded a local bus to my destination. Only foreigner and minimal staring. Yeshe  set me up in a guest house with a huge room overlooking the lake and access to a kitchen. It is a powerful place. A small town surrounding a self arisen lake with 3 major monasteries and the population mostly Indian. During my first hours I was head butted by a very large cow (was wearing red), attacked by a dog (owners said it was because I was Ingee(local for English person) AND chased by a monkey... then I fell down some stairs on my way to the tailor that told me I should "start diet". So I am leaving this peaceful jungle after a wonderful 7 days retreat. Will start the diet when I get back.

More from Dharamsala....

Tags: On the Road

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