India 2004 Part 1

Our room in Dharamsala.

2/16/04

We arrived at the airport in Delhi at about 3 a.m. Tenzin and I were worried when we didn’t see her uncle, so she asked another Tibetan family about something and said we could wait with them. The father of the family found Tenzin’s uncle who had been waiting outside for us since 1 a.m. How horrible! But at least things worked out. We arrived at a monastery guesthouse where we got our things together and headed down to breakfast.

Tenzin’s mom called and said hello. She asked if I wanted my mom to call, I said no because we were leaving for Dharamsala soon. She said all right. Tenzin asked some of the people for hot water so we could use it to take a shower with, they were laughing at her. Well anyway, the situation for the shower. You have a bucket of cold and hot mix it and dump it over you. It is an interesting way to shower I believe. Anyway when we were leaving, there was so much traffic people cutting off others. There were bicycles, carts, scooters, buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, etc. on the road. People were walking in the street. Well at one point our taxi got a flat tire so we switched it, and a lot of people seemed to be looking at me. I think it is because they have never seen a white person before. We made  a pit stop on the side of the road to eat, we had Indian food. It was really spicy so I’m like water. And Tenzin went and got my water bottle. We continued up towards Dharamsala. We almost hit a cow but didn’t because it is sacred, so we stopped suddenly and I went flying into the back of the front seat. We had no seat belts in the back. The car broke down a second time on the side of the road. And a little kid came up begging . It was kind of sad.

After that around 8 p.m. we made another pit stop on the side of the road to get the spare tire fixed. I really had to go pee, so we found a restaurant with a bathroom. It was a squat styled one with no toilet paper, thank god we had some on us. We all got back into the car and headed to Dharamsala. Along the way when we were going round and round up the mountains, my ears were all clogged up. I felt nausea and my throat was really dry. I think it is because of the change in altitude though. It took forever to get to Dharamsala. We had to head up to Mcleod Ganj. ( I think that is how you spell it) When we arrived at the monastery, her uncle went inside and when he came out he said we were at the wrong place. So we got directions and headed over to the Shangrila Hotel. When we got our rooms we met the Ghayla who would be showing us around. After that we went to the restaurant next door to eat dinner. It was pretty good, Tenzin ordered it, so I think she did a good job. I paid for dinner and we had to pay 4500 rupees for the taxi. When we went back I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. After that I came in, started working on this journal entry and then fell asleep so I had to finish it this morning.

Reflections:

Looking back my writing was horrendous in high school. Although somethings really haven’t changed as I still think faster than I can write or type in this instance. My thoughts were really disconnected and parts of the story are missing from that time. My memory isn’t so great so I can’t even fill all of them in myself.

I remember waiting for two hours at the airport for her uncle before we found him and driving passed a long line of homeless people sleeping under the bridge near the airport. We only slept for about 3 hours before we left our hotel to head to Dharamsala. I distinctly remember being surprised that you could take a taxi for 12 hours.

The 4500 rupees was only 100$. Can you imagine that? A 12 hour ride for 100 dollars.

Ghayla is what we called the monk who was taking us around. There are many terms for monks and I’m not sure exactly why we called him using that title. I suppose it is something I should have asked at the time.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What a memorable event to say the least..!, 🙄 Ya know, Nina..you can always record your daily journals as you go on , and then you can transfer to 💻 computer..Good idea , no?.🤔
    That sure seems like a mad house on the roadways! 🤨.
    You seem to be adjusting ,( somewhat,ah?)

    Love & Hugs,
    Aunt Millie 🐾🌈

  2. I am glad that you kept a journal of your 1 st trip. I was a wreck that your 1st trip was to India with no communication. Thank god for cell phones now!!

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