Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Patience is a virtue
So, some bigshot dude got assassinated in Darjeeling, and there was a strike. By bigshot dude, I mean a leader of the Gorkahland movement (seperatist movement in North West Bengal). It was in full public view at an assembly, and the city was in shock. NOTHING was open, except for a few hotels (my favourite included), and some street vendors. I spent the day just wandering the ghost town, drinking tea and hoping I'd be able to get a jeep to Siliguri the next day. Success! I got my jeep, and thus began the most trying 24-ish hours of my trip (to this point). I had no train booked to get from Siliguri to Varanasi- the strike made that impossible. Not willing to let so trivial an affair hinder my plans, I simply strolled on into NJP Station and got me a 143 Ruppee(3.50 CAD) Second class ticket for the 730 km journey. Now, before I go on I would like to say that I am very happy that I roughed it like this- it gave me an appreciation for what long journey's for the average Indian folk are like. At the same time, it was a trying experience. I didn't have a seat the whole time- all 18 hours- and I got about 4 hours sleep. I was wearing Darjeeling clothes- so jeans and a T, but the jeans became the bane of my existence as the sun rose this morning. A man shared some food with me, and in return I gave him a sip of wine...only to go to the bathroom and have him pound half the bottle. I was thoroughly pissed, for lack of better words, but there wasn't much I could do other than condemn him to existence as a street goat in the next life. I didn't get the chance to buy water often- and when I did I didn't buy enough. It was great, really. The Indian people really do have a very high tolerance level for this kind of thing- uncomfortable settings, and being in them for extended periods of time. Anyways, upon arriving I caught a Rickshaw into town, got semi lost, found my hotel, and had what was definitely one of the three most refreshing showers of my life. Got a couple days to kill here before heading to Mumbai- and I have a project I'm tackling tomorrow that involves photographs- which will all be posted online. That's all I got for now, as I am thouroughly fried.