Updated 11 years, 6 months ago
Right then, when you last heard from me I was still in Kathmandu trying my best not to explode at the annoying array of rickshaw drivers and drug peddlars insessantly calling me from all corners of every street, yes?
Well, (somehow!!) I did in fact manage that, and thus spent my last remaining days in Nepal sunbathing and improving on my yoga skills. The latter of which contributed not only to my getting bendier and musclier, but also to my receiving a whole host of peculiar shaped carpet burns from trying to perfect my headstand against the wall in the hotel room=)!!! Still- it was worth it, can now finally do it freestanding, and as one of my yoga teachers used to say, with a slightly demonic chuckle?!, "there's no gain without pain"!!
On Monday it was then finally time to take my leave, and as I made my way to the airport I couldn't help but feel rather sad...but this state was quickly remedied, after an argument had with an airport guard concerning the dried chili peppers in my hand luggage!
He, (stupid, ignorant, pompous man=)!!) was of the impression that I was not to have this item in my hand luggage. I (having carried the stupid things around with me for several months by that point) obviously wasn't!!
When questioned by me as to "WHY I should not have the silly little vegetables in my bag?", he explained that; "Chilli peppers, when rubbed in the eyes, have a tendency to sting and this could be quite painful"! "That is exactly why", I patiently replied, "I like to keep them inside my bag and not rub them into anyone's eyes!" "Well", sais he, "we can't be certain of that now can we, and so I shall have to confiscate them, as they are listed as a weapon!"
"No you shall not confiscate my lovingly carried chilli peppers" I protested, with considerably less patience in my voice "They're bloody well dried, in a packet and locked in my hand luggage- what the hell do you think's going to happen??!!
"No, I'll have to confiscate them" sais the silly little man, as he tears them from the rest of my spices without even a flinch of shame "You should have put them in your check in luggage" he adds smugly.
"Had you informed me at the bloody check in counter that it wasn't permitted to carry shrivelled vegetables I would have done just that" I fumed!
"Well" sais the idiot with just a... MOUNTAIN of sarcasm in his voice "if you'd like to, you can go back downstairs, through ALL the checks, and put them there!"
After shortly considering this invitation so as just to make a point, I do decide against it in the interest of time and leave for the gate, but not before offering to rub some chilli into his eyes if he failed to remove that smug little grin from his face!!!!
So anyway, on that note- I exited Nepal=)!!!
Now I'm fairly certain that I saw Everest peeping out of the clouds on our departure over the Himalaya! The stewerdess however, upon my excited enquiery, seemed a bit sceptical. But I have decided not to care, because believing I've already seen it will save me an expensive scenic flight to go and see it the next time round- so yeahhhh! I saw Mt Everest!! it was gobsmacking=)!
Two and a half hours later I found myself back in India, with a strange sort of feeling that i was later able to identlfy as nostalgia- turns out I had in fact really missed the place!!
It was now "monsoon season" and I soon learnt that this involved the skies opening up at different intervals throughout the day, without the slightest warning and soaking you silly for several hours at a time!! Great fun in fact!!!
This time I stayed at the Salvation Army Youth Hostel in Mumbai, which is located, well, if you go to the stupidly expensive, ultimate symbol of luxuary and comfort- the Taj Mahal Hotel...then walk around it to the back..till you're, well exactly in it's shadow really and have, what the locals call "crack corner" to your left- then that's where I stayed!
Anyway it was in fact a perfectly nice place, despite it's position (which was on the other hand quite comforting to think you're in virtually the same spot as a 5* hotel but paying about 1/1000 of the price!!). That is to say, asides from the slight annoyance of the kleptomaniac that was sharing my dorm!!!
Who, after stealing other peoples money and cameras, also apparently decided that I wasn't making nearly enough use of my bag and thus tipped out the contents and wandered off into the night with it while I was out?! Go figure, but luckily I'd taken EVERYTHING else away and kept it somewhere else, and after rooting through it she must have decided she didn't want my old knickers, but could do with some more storage space for her collection of stolen articles!!
Oh well, a pair of flip flops and an empty bag in 8 months travelling isn't too bad now is it=)?!!
So then, after intelligently spending all my remaining money, save 10Rs, on junk, in a somewhat panicked "I must get rid of my rupees" shopping spree..I was then left waiting for 5 hungry hours at the airport with only enough money to purchase a chai (small tea!)- never mind, emirates fed me well later on=)!!
After leaving the monsoon, I then found myself 3 hours later, back in 40C heat and landing in something that from the air, looked rather like a giant sandpit in which a child had left it's small toys!! This was ofcourse not a sandpit at all, but Dubai- but the similairty did astound me!
After eating on the floor in Nepal litte more than a week before, being thrust into this hugely superficial, commericialised, materialistic city was...erm, well a bit...sickening really! As I glanced over at the only 7* hotel in the world and attempted to count the MILLIONS of hug shopping complexes and mercedes benz....I couldn't help but wonder why on EARTH we needed all of it??? Why did anyone care so much about having to wear designer clothes and sleep in gold plated rooms??? When most of them looked about as contented as a brick wall compared to all those infinitely sparkeling people I'd met in Asia!!
But anyway, it was interesting to see, and I'm sure that there's some people who might find genuine happiness in that sort of world, it's just not for me.
After that I boarded the plane for a country called England, was greeted at the airport by a very friendly chaufeure, who seemed so thrilled that I'd arrived, it was like we'd know each other for forever?! Odd!
Was then taken to the nicest looking hostel- seemingly run by the chaufuere?!, where the food is second to none, the laundry service not only fast and efficient, but also apparantly free?! and the rooms all incredibly cozy, especially the one assigned to myself, and the sweetest dog...in fact all rather reminds me of....oh God!!! It's not a new country at all is it?! I've come home!!!
Yes... indeed, there you have it!! So involved in jetting round countries I was, that it took me a little while to realise the journey ends here....which it doesn't really ofcourse...life goes on....but the living out of the backpack deffinitely stops now=)!!
So! An 8 month odyssey, which has taken me across the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, off into the torquoise clear waters of the Fiji Islands, over to the green, sheep-clad hills of New Zealand and through the red-earthed farms and BBQs of Australia; over the shimmering skyscrapers and green parks of Singapore, to the jungles of Malaysia, on to the ancient Bhuddist temples if Sri Lanka and through the beaches and desserts of India, up and down the snow-capped mountains and peaceful villages of Nepal and through the golden souques of Dubai...has ended!
I have seen sooo many places, and met soo many people. I have conquered many fears and learnt many new things, and despite all that, I have still but sipped of that global cup of adventure, and thus, as you'd expect=)- now I have tasted it, I do thirst for more...so on that note- watch this space=)!!!
Loads of happiness and love to all of you!
(I'll now finally get started on writing some individual mails=)!!)
Thank you to all of you for
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