10 February, 2008

getting here: part 2; Ka-Ka-Ka-Kathmandu

So when last I left you I had been traveling 50 hours;
and still not in Katmandu.
I had taken:
One local train
One cycle rickshaw
One long distance train
One jeep
And 2 auto rickshaws.

So I am on the bus at the Nepal boarder. Enter Paul, my seat mate and new best friend (for the next 13 hours). A British kid traveling in India for the past 3 months on his way to the Kat to meet a friend. He hadn’t had the best time in India. It was so nice after the past few days when conversation was broken English, "I go" "you sit" to talk freely with an English speaker. The bus was cold, uncomfortable, slow and it was kinda scary going through undeveloped mountains roads. Once in the Kat it just sort dropped us and we didn't know where we were. Paul had pre-booked a hotel I had the name of two different hotels so we got a cab with some weird Jewish kid and headed for the tourist district. It was 4am. Once in the area, the Jewish kid left for some Jewish hotel. There we were on the street walking and walking, looking for a hotel we couldn't find. We both had our second winds so it was kinda fun. We finally found his hotel and I checked in as well. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend but it was 5am...

So it's Thursday...I got up earlyish considering I went to sleep at 6am. I wanted to see the town, get food and warm clothes. They sell these great yak wool sweaters I always remembered how great they were. Unfortunately my opinion of them has changed in 14 years; I didn't/don't like them. Anyway I wanted to find a cheaper hotel so I went just looking round. I couldn't do passport/visa stuff because the embassy was closed Thursday for some holiday.

By walking around I found a hotel I had stayed in last time. It was cheaper I told them I’d come on Friday. Spent that first day just trying to get "the lay the land". I also got visa photos taken, terrible visa photos.

Friday got up early to go to embassy. You have to go early cause there is a long line. People start lining up at 4 am I had heard. I took a risk and left at 6:30. it turned out fine. To get a visa you fill out a form which they fax to Washington DC to see if you are a wanted criminal. You go back in couple days (I go Thursday 14th) and turn in another form in the morning, then back at 4:30 to pick up your visa.

After the embassy I went and checked in the new/old hotel. When I first went in the room I thought, "14 years has been hard on you old girl" I just dropped my bags in the room and headed out. I came back at round 2 and was sitting in the room thinking I don't want to stay here, it was a shit hole. So I went to find a new hotel and plan my escape. I found one, went back to my hotel and told them I didn’t like it and was leaving...they tried to make me pay for the room. I didn't.

So that means that basically I am "stuck" in Nepal until Thursday. Which I know sounds crappy to say stuck but...it's cold and sort of miserable or I am miserable here. The power is always out so after 5pm it's dark and all you can do is sit in your hotel room in the dark and freeze. Or go to the internet cafe that has a generator and blog. I am bored and did I mention cold. So I am just walking around during the day and eating. I should explain all this so much better but right now I am at the height of my crabbiness I need to chill out and blog later.

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