BootsnAll Travel Network

June 27th, 2008 – Dharamsala, India

Today would be my last full day in Dharamsala, India and there was still plenty to do.  I first want to say hi to my cousin Judy, what’s up?  She is a very loyal reader and I had previously left her out of my shout outs from a few days ago.  So here, you get almost a full paragraph of your own shout out!

I woke up today and decided I was NOT going to my first class.  We already had the exam in that class and I had too much to do.  I woke up feeling not so good and I thought that my sickness had passed but I guess I was wrong.  So of course it was raining, but at around 825am I walked up the road in to town and stopped at the internet cafe to kill some time.  The post office and the Tibetan co-op both told me to come at around 9am, so instead of waiting till after the test I tried to go before class.  This was a mistake.  I walking in the pouring rain with my trusty, rainbow colored umbrella that just about every tourist has walking around and made by way to the shop.  At around 9am I went to the post office and they told me that they would not be open till 930am!  Those bastards lied to me.  I had wasted an hour of possibly studying for the International Human Rights exam.  I had not studied one iota yet and the test was at 2PM.  Now I was frustrated, wet, cold, and feeling like crap as I was walking to the hotel unaccomplished with plenty to do.

I got back and really felt sick.  I went to the bathroom which helped and told Sarah I didn’t feel good.  She came in to my room and took care of me.  She gave me some of her medicinal herbal crap and told me to drink water.  At this point it was time to break out my oral hydration tablets.  I had brought these just in case I got sick or couldn’t properly rehydrate on my trip and today they paid off.  I dropped one of the tablets in my bottle of water and drank it pretty steadily.  I guess since I had been going to the bathroom so often, and with my lack of drinking water, that I had been pretty dehydrated.  The tablets are basically super gatorades and fill your body with a lot of electrolytes.  After drinking the water I felt substantially better and was able to sit through my last International Human Rights test.

After class it was time to study, but before doing so I went back to the tibetan co-op to pick up my boxes and then bring them to the post office.  I had to get back to the hotel with enough time to study for the exam.  So I walked back up the hill, seeing all my homeless lepers, and vendors and tried to send my stuff back to the USA for the second time in as many hours.  The packages were wrapped in cloth and ready to go.  One of the two guys I had met the previous day helped me carry the boxes to the post office.

Oh I first went to the ATM and took out enough cash for my remaining time in India and enough to send the package home, I hope.  Then I went to the Co-op.  Oh I also took a taxi to the ATM.  I didn’t walk my fault, and I paid the 60 rupees for the short ride that I refused to pay the day before.  I was short on time and needed to get a lot done.  OK, so ATM, then Co-op, then Post office.  When I got to the post office the line was out the door.  Indian post office’s are notorious for being slow, worse than in America and quite frankly they really don’t care.  Mcleod Ganj post office is a small post office, but since it is located in such a touristy city, it has to be efficient.  I got to the post office and this monk helped me put my boxes on the seat.  I told the worker behind the counter in Hindi I wanted to send two packages, to the USA.  He asked me the weight and I responded in English.  This was classic Hinglish.  He handed me two forms, I borrowed a pen from a local and filled out the forms.  While waiting in line for about 35 minutes I struck out a conversation with this dude from Kentucky who had been traveling around the world with a buddy of his for a total of a year when the trip would be finished.  He had already been to South America and Africa and after India would maybe head elsewhere, I forget.

We had good conversation and it killed the time waiting on this painfully slow line.  At around 1225pm, the guy behind the counter told another guy standing on line to lock the door.  Even though they officially closed at 1 for lunch, they did not let anyone in past 1230pm I guess and would just finish the business in front of them.  I had no problem with that.  10 minutes later one of my professors banging on the window to be let in.  He argued that it was open till 1pm, and eventually they let him in.

For 5650 rupees I was able to send two packages, totaling almost 14 kilograms in weight, by air to America.  I really hope they get there.  I sent a lot of clothing that I initially brought with me, 10 pairs of sandals and shoes, and lots of things I bought.

After the post office I walked quickly back to the hotel to study for my test.  I had about an hour or so to study as the time at the post office took a lot longer than I had anticipated it would.   I did some high quality cramming and then it was time to take the test.  The test was 2 hours and was by far the most serious and real deal law school exam.  I wrote a lot, used my notes efficiently, and I think I did pretty well.  I mean granted it was not perfect by any means, considering I had no prior knowledge of international law or international human rights, I think I did pretty well.

After the test I was feeling pretty good.  My real vacation was starting as I had another 5 weeks or so left of freedom before it was time to head back to America.  So here is the rest of the plan:

Overnight train to Delhi on June 28th with the law group.  One full day in Delhi on Sunday, monday morning I fly back to Mumbai.  I have a layover of about 6-9 hours depending on when I get in, how long it takes to get my baggage etc…I plan on meeting some of my friends from Mumbai when I get there to kill the time, but we will see.  Traffic in Mumbai is crazy and everywhere takes a long time to get too.  Plus if it is  raining it will be impossible to go anywhere.  Monday night I fly to Abu Dhabi.  I plan on sleeping in the airport monday night in to tuesday morning.  Early in the morning I will take a cab to the 5 star Hilton Abu Dhabi were I will be spending two nights enjoying myself.  I might do a day trip to Dubai if it is affordable and then on wednesday night, I have to go back to the airport for my 3am flight on thursday to Joburg, South Africa.  When I get to Joburg hopefully on time, I will have to quickly grab my stuff, hopefully just be able to transfer, but if not go through customs and make my 1245pm flight on British Airways to Capetown, South Africa.  I will then take a cab to my hostel in Ctown and enjoy the next few days there.  I will be spending 3 nights in Capetown and then start my 26 day trip through Southern Africa.  I get back to Joburg July 31st I believe and will be spending a few nights with this lady I met on

So the next few days will be extremely hectic, but hopefully fun filled and exciting.

So after the test I really didn’t do much.  I went on the internet, and packed up my stuff.  At 8pm we were having a farewell party at a restaurant called Ashoka which I had been too twice already.  The party was fun.  The teachers and Ann bought us the food, water and most importantly beer!  Massive amounts of pictures were being taken at this shindig and aftewards, Becky, Sarah, Rachel, Martine and I went to the bottle shop to pick up a night cap.  When I got back to the hotel I was so tired.  I couldn’t do anything let alone drink another beer.  Since I have not eaten as much the second half of India, my appetite has been suppressed significantly.  I get full really quick and last night I just ate way too much.

I went to bed at around 130am, and tomorrow we would be leaving for the train station at approximately 1pm, for a 3 hour jeep ride to the train station in the next major city called Pathankot.  The train to Delhi leaves at 7pm and missing it is not an option!


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