BootsnAll Travel Network

june 26th, 2008 – Dharamsala, India

Today I rolled out of bed for the Tibetan class. Today was the day that Cait and I had to present on the Tibetan Government in Exile. I forgot to mention that yesterday. I did the preparation from 8-9 and studied afterwards for several hours until I could not look at the list of vocab and my class notes anymore. The presentation went fairly well, people were listening because Professor had told us that our presentation would be on the exam, and as it turned out she was right. Our next class only had 4 kids in it. I felt bad for this professor as that was probably a little rude on everyone’s behalf, but they were all studying for our Tibetan final that was later today, even though our Professor assured us that it would be easy. After our last class, and before the final exam then before final exam, I shoved all the stuff that I needed to be sent home in to my large backpack and ran with it down the roa, up the hill the to Tibetan Cooperative. Basically in order to send a package from India via the mail the box or items you are sending must be stitched and sealed by wax on the part of a tailor. This was such a pain in the ass, as you have to find a good tailor, that won’t rip you off and that can do a good job. This place seemed nice and they were not going to charge me all that much and it would be done after my exam.

From the co-op I came back, took the exam which was really easy. I had to guess on my last two questions, but as it turned out I could have gotten at least 1.5 of the 2 right, which I was happy about. After the exam I went scrounging around for a box large enough to fit all my stuff. Even though you could send your stuff in the cloth, as the tailor wraps it in plastic first, I felt more comfortable putting it all in a box. So I ran around the took looking for one and even after I begged a local shop owner for his box, offering him as much as 500 rupees for it (almost 12 USD), I found one that was being used for garbage, that another story owner let me use. After bringing the box back to the hotel, I loaded up the rest of the stuff I wanted to send back that I had forgotten to bring to the co-op in the first place. I tried to get a taxi at first to bring me up the hill as I really did not want to carry it back and forth yet again. The taxi driver, clearly saw how desperate I was and tried to gauged me on the price, I said hell no and decided to walk with the huge box myself.

As I was walking back and forth, first with my huge backpack and then with the huge box, the local vendors clearly remembered me as they were laughing at me, running back and forth, commenting about my huge backpack. I embraced it all, smiled back at them and kept chugging along. I was on a mission to eventually send all this crap home. So I eventually got to the co-op with the rest of my stuff. They told me that I would have to pick up both wrapped boxes tomorrow as they were about to close for the day. I said no problem, and was very happy to have this get done, fast, and cheap.

A side story. When I first arrived at the Tibetan Co-op, two of the guys there were really admiring my backpack. They asked me about my patches. For those of you who don’t know, every country I have been too I have a patch on my backpack, signifying the achievement. They asked me if I had really been to all the places on my bag, to which I very proudly responded “absolutely.” One of the Tibetan worker’s there actually took a picture of my backpack with all the patches, with his camera phone. It made me feel proud to have people appreciate such an accomplishment. They asked me how I did it and I just told them that I traveled whenever I had free time and that I have still managed to almost finish becoming a lawyer.

When I got back to the hotel, it was getting kind of late. Sarah and I went to dinner at this Italian place. I initially wanted to go to another Italian place called Jimmy’s, which is where Sarah, Grady and I had gone in week one, but this time Sarah wanted to check out another place. The food here was not that good. I wish I remembered the name so people in the future could use this as a reference, but basically if you ever find yourself in Dharamsala, India and are looking for Italian food, if you walk and see the downstairs version of Jimmy’s keep walking, and the next Italian place you come too is the one I ate at and it really wasn’t that good. I think Sarah and I both had a stomach ache leaving that place. After dinner Sarah and I did a little shopping. I picked up a black jacket, with the Tibetan flag sewn on, and on the back it says “Save Tibet.” It is a standard price and usually goes to the Tibetan cause. I really wanted the jacket that said “Team Tibet” but I couldn’t find it around the city, as so many tourists and travelers by it and my time in this place was running short. After shopping I went to the ATM to get some cash, then we went to the internet cafe. It was getting late and I had still not began studying for my International Human Rights exam which was from 2-4 on the 27th, but since it was open notes, and I felt confident in my notes and what I knew, I wasn’t worried. At the internet cafe I actually printed out my notes so that I could use them efficiently during the exam the following day. It cost me 10 rupees a page, and 250 rupees in total! That is exorbitant considering what I have bought for that much and how much food you can buy with that money. After Sarah and I got back from the internet cafe and our little mini excursion in to town, we attempted to watch a movie, but after a while I got tired and wanted to get to sleep. Tomorrow would be a big day and I had lots of things to do.


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