THE LAND OF NONRANDOM MEETINGS
Chapter 1. LONG WAY TO KATHMANDU
OR rINGED BY aNNAPURNA
Chapter 2. KATHMANDU AND ITS PEOPLE
Chapter 3. JOURNEY FROM SUMMER TO WINTER
Chapter 4. BETWEEN TWO SUMMITS
Chapter 5. SLEEPY PARADISE
Chapter 6. MOVABLE FEAST
Chapter 7. ACROSS THE HALF OF THE WORLD IN SIX DAYS
ACROSS THE HALF OF THE WORLD IN SIX DAYS
To tell you the truth, right after the descent from Thorung La the whole our way was mostly taking for coming back home. But only after the farewell party with Pasha and Yulia was over and the belongings were packed in backpacks for the hundredth time, long and tiresome movement across the climatic and time zones, across countries, grounds and air, the movement that lasted not more or less but 6 days had begun.
Early in the morning on Thursday we started to walk to the station. Then was the whole day bus driving down to Bhairawa. Had spent a night on Nepal territory for the last time, again in the same hotel ‘Ashoka’, we intersected the frontier with India before lunchtime next day. And without problems we got to Gorakhpur. But in Gorakhpur after two hours’ standing in a queue to the booking-office entitled ‘for foreigners and women’ (where mostly were local men) we found out that the tickets of the second class to Delhi had been sold out. As far as all our money was not enough to buy even a half of a ticket of the first class we had the only way out – to take a bus.
Buses surely can be late everywhere – somewhere in France and in India as well. The difference is only in duration of this lateness. Though I’m not intended to consider thirty six hours instead of twenty hours as a lateness. That’s not a delay already, that’s just an insult, which nearly turned out into missing our flight. Fortunately, after spending a day and a half in the worst and overcrowded bus we got to Delhi, though it could be hardly believed in. And what was going on during these 36 hours I even didn’t want to remember. There is hardly 800 kilometers between Gorakhpur and Delhi. To drive this distance for 20 hours is already rotten act, not speaking about the time we spent driving. There was the feeling of complete powerlessness, taking into consideration that we had only 14 dollars for both of us. As a result we got to Delhi three hours earlier the registration to our flight started at the airport. But we were supposed to spend the whole day in the capital. To tell you the truth, I don’t feel pity that we didn’t have chance to see Delhi properly. I just regret the nerves we had spent while our trip to Delhi. There was no inclination to think about the situation if we would be late for the flight.
So speaking in general, I’d say so: love for India has died even before having started. And the matter is not about dirtiness (I myself is not really neat, especially while traveling). The matter is probably in religion. As I was several times told, there were two ways of comprehension of the God in Hinduism. One is climbing up – when the person tries hard, work and in this way he grasps the God, and the second one is lowering – when the person just does nothing, bagging for instance, and then probably the God will go down to him. I had an impression that the biggest part of the citizens of India had chosen the second way. On me personally, the Hindus made an impression of degenerating and dieing upon your eyes nation. The cripple, the sick there are so many of them...
I’ve heard that very few people can have India imprinted itself on their soul from the first time. But I doubt, whether it will happen with me at all. Now I’ll never believe in saying that India is a very marvelous country. I have been there, I’ve seen and smelled this all. It’s possible that there is another India, India of five stared hotels and private closed beaches, but it is already not India. We saw the country like what it really was.
At Delhi airport we didn’t manage to eat properly. At the international (!!!) airport there was only vegetarian food. And left rupees we had to spend on different junk, which wasn’t enough to feel satisfied at all. Decent food we found only in Almaty. As far as on board of the flight we were not given anything nutritious and in Ashgabad airport with the money we had we could buy only mineral water at the transit hall.
But then in Almaty at the railway station what greediness we were eating ‘belyashi’ with, the ones that didn’t contain meat almost at all, but only onion. But that onion at least smelled like meat. Well, the influence of the vegetarian diet of these several days was easily noticeable.
Then there was coming back by train Almaty – Karaganda, the conductor who couldn’t understand why we stubbornly kept refusing to take beddings, explaining that we had no money. Therefore we had a big bag full of beer. That was very difficult to explain her that we really had no money left even to pay fee in the bus. As straight away after arriving in Almaty the decision to buy something to eat and to grab beer for the rest of the left money had been made. Moreover, the beer had more than symbolical name – ‘ Tien Shan ’ – heavenly mountains.
During the whole our way home Dima and I were sharing impressions about the trip with each other, and of course, were making plans for future. The future which will be ever after connected with Nepal
Nepal is the country of the highest mountains in the world. Having seen these mountains, you’ll definitely have the desire to meet them again. And if you really like snowy peaks and green valleys with all your heart you would love to come back here forever.