BootsnAll Travel Network

June 28th, 2008 – Dharamsala to Delhi, India

I stayed at Sarah’s the previous night and got out of bed at 10am.  It was a good feeling to have nothing to do, with school being over.  To kill the time before our departure for the train, I went to the internet for cafe for about 2 hours to update my blog.  I want to print a retraction from my previous blog entry regarding some poor language and choice of words.  I guess I left my palm pilot in the classroom at the hotel and someone must have saw my blog opened and write some words, and I clearly did not see that, so I apologize to who was offended and I will delete it.


Anyway after the internet cafe I went to the store and picked up some snacks for the ride and for the train.  The snacks included chips ahoy, olives, cup o noodles, fanta and water, ahhhh can’t get much better than that.


When I got back to the hotel I saw Arrindum who wanted to get something before we left as well, so yet again I made the journey down the hill, around the corner and to the local bodega type stores near our hotel.  He picked up a cup o noodle also, after I assured him we could get hot water on the train, I mean I know I was able to on my train ride from Mumbai to Delhi.  After I went up to my room and brought my bags down, a bunch of us were just sitting around in the classroom reminicing about the time we had on the trip.  We also included some of the gripes about the trip, but those were kept to a minimum for the most part.


Ann came in and informed us that we were now departing 115pm instead of 1245pm, due to a malfunction with one of the jeeps.  No problem here, better safe than sorry.  This gave people some additional time to pack up and enjoy their last few moments in Dharamsala.  I have to say that I definitely enjoyed Dharamsala a lot more than Shimla.  It just had a better overall feel to it and had more to explore and do I feel.


When the jeeps came, I carried my stuff down to the jeeps.  I don’t know why I did that considering my knee was still a little stuffed, but I did it anyway.  Getting everyone in the jeeps was straight pandamonium.  It was hard because we all had so much luggage, and space was tight.  We even had a jeep just for luggage and we will had to pack each individual jeep up with luggage to make it fit. 


Before we left I decided to go to the bathroom one more time just to make sure I wouldn’t have problems a long the way.  They told us that stopping would be an issue so I wanted to make sure I could survive the three hours of so it would take to get to the train station in Pathankot.  See the train station wasn’t just simply in Dharamsala, we had to trek all the way to the next major citiy in order to catch the train, what a pain in the ass I know.


When I got back from the bathroom, Rachel, Sarah and Becky saved me a spot in their jeep which was nice, considering I really wouldn’t have wanted to travel in some of the other jeeps anyway.  On the way we noticed that most jeeps had 3 people in them, one other had 4 and so did ours.  This imbalance was caused by the fact that one of the professors and his wife inexcusably had a jeep to themselves.  We all found that to be ludacris and was not happy about it.


After moaning and groaning about us getting stuck in the jeep with 4, we put that aside and made the driver turn up his Punjabi music.  I love punjabi music.  The beat is always the same, but it never gets old.  People dance the bangra to punjabi music, it is just how it is.  Once the driver blasted the music we all started dancing a version of the bangra that felt comfortable for us.


I have a patented move.  Pointer finger in each had pointing up, shoulders moving up and down, and when your standing you do this sort of Elaine from Seinfeld leg kick, but not quite.  Unfortunately that trip really didn’t go as smooth as we all would have hoped.  For some reason we kept stopping along side of the road.  I would continually ask the driver why are we stopping in  Hindi, and each time he would get out of the jeep and ask the other drivers, he definitely didn’t need to stop and wanted to know what was going on.  Several times we stopped to let the rest of the jeeps catch up to us, and other times we stopped randomly and really short together because people had to pee.  At one random stop along side of the road, Rachel spotted this man weaving his own rugs and low and behold she bought one of the rugs for really cheap like 120 rupees or something and Sarah bought a cheap blanket for 150 rupees, thanks to my bargaining and conversing in Hindi.  It definitely pays off to speak hindi to the locals, I think you get respect and they know that you know what they are saying to a certain extent, enough to bargain with.


After almost 4 hours we arrived in Panthankot.  This place is on the way to Amritsar which is where the same 4 of us in the jeep went the following weekend to see the Golden Temple.  Anyway when we got to the station it was stiffling out.  So hot, humid as heck, and the sun was blazing.  We were used to milder temperatures and rain everyday for a month, so this weather was certainly a shock to my body, not sure about the others.  I refused to get a porter and instead carried my stuff in to the train station, plopped it down and really couldn’t sit still.  We had just been in a car for a while and I didn’t want to sit any longer.  After a little while I saw the chai guy rolling his cart down to us.  I got the best chai of my life right then and there and for a measely 3 rupees for a 4 oz cup i believe, maybe 6 oz not sure.  Anyway it was darn good. 


After that I picked up a refreshing pepsi, and then Arrindum and I went out to find some shirts.  Apparently he had seen an army detail store, so we decided to go check it out.  He was all giddy for the chance to buy some alleged authentic indian army paraphenalia.  I was skeptical that it was real until I bought a shirt myself.  Arrindum paid 120 rupees, while I paid only 80 rupees.  When Arrindum went back to make his case for being ripped off the vendor simply stated that  you had cotton and that I had gotten something of lesser quality.  I don’t know my shirt feels pretty darn nice.  Anyway we were both happy about the purchase and by this point we only had another hour until the train was supposed to arrive in the station.


When we got back to the station we were informed that the train was late by 30 minutes.  Ok, not so bad considering it could be delayed hours, you just never know.  This gave me more time to get some more chai.  But before I did from the same vendor I got some local food served in some shell of either a plant, fruit or vegetable, I’m not really sure.  After walking around with it, I decided if it was best not to eat it and get sick so close to the end of my time in india.


I walked around for a little while longer and before we knew it, it was time to board the train.  I gathered up my stuff and helped the group local our car which was Second Class AC A1.  Only three kids were stuck in A3, but truthfully they weren’t my concern.  I was looking for A1, greatest good for the greatest number I suppose, call me selfish but that’s how I role.


Sarah and I boarded the train along with the rest of the gang in A1 and looked for our beds.  They should be closed together as we were 14 and 16 respectively, and they were.  Both top bunks in the same berth.  There was one major issue though, the people below us had dominated the floor space which is where our bags were supposed to go.  I tried to remain calm, as I was really hot, tired and not happy about the situation.  The people below us kept trying to tell us that we would work it out, well we really never did.  I ended up sleeping with two of my bags and really didn’t sleep much.  The rest of the night Sarah and I chatted.  Thank g-d I brought snacks and drinks as the food on the train was not appeitizing at the present moment, but definitely eatable. 


At around 130am I tried to doze off, but with two bags with me on a tiny bed, it was so hard to get comfortable, and everyone knows how particular I am with my sleeping arrangments.


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