Delhi Heat, Being a Student & Paki Visa Battle

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
Trip End Oct 16, 2014

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Where I stayed
Mrs. Bhandari's Guesthouse Amritsar
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of India  , Punjab,
Friday, August 8, 2014

Visa Battles in Delhi
 Crossing the Banbasa border one more time… familiar area for me now… I (almost, as it is impossible on Indian roads to close eyes even for a mill-second) blindly drive to Bhooi's farm again. It feels like coming home by now. After another great get together, it is time to start visa stuff in Delhi. Parked at Nehru Park in one of the hottest month it is not the nicest thing to do… 45 degrees in my open van by evening time… sweat…sweat and more sweating! No airco, fridge or fan there to help out. Low-budget travelling has its downsides ;-) Parked next to me in a 'normal but amazing’ landrover are Elodie and Matteo. They are also aiming for the same visas…Iran and Pakistan. Top notch moral support and practical info sharing. I go for the Iran visa first… running around Delhi for fingerprints! And money deposit, but 2,5 weeks later the proud owner of the IRAN visa. Not so easy for the PAKISTAN visa…that took over 7 weeks of fighting, waiting, crying and more fighting, waiting. But by now also the proud owner of the PAKISTAN TRANSIT visa. Elodie and Matteo are less lucky and were refused for the Pakistan visa. They changed their plans and I will be crossing on my own. Would have been great to do this part of the journey together.

Surviving and celebrating in the Delhi Heat
On my first night in Delhi I was welcomed grandly by my friend Charles who showed up with good food and drinks. What a lovely surprise. Niru, another Indian friend, kept me, Elodie and Matteo sane in moments of overheating, by letting us park/camp at here farm house. We even bought a plastic swimming pool to keep our heads cool. Each their own dramas, but at times the visa frustration got the better of us. So this felt like a lovely blissful moment coming at the[right time. Delhi was also the place where I celebrated my 40th B-day… yep I am that old   now ;-) Feels totally ok though, no big 40-dramas getting to me. I did not have to sip wine on my own as some friends joined me at Khan Market for a few drinks and nibbles. Simple, small and lovely!

Ayurveda, Massage, Pranayama
Better late than never… guess that’s me. After all this time in India I decided only at the last moment to join a 1-month Ayurveda (Science of Life) course, do an extra massage course and take part in a 3-day Pranayama Kriya (special breathing technique). Very hectic, but equally interesting and motivating. Finally all the info people have been giving to me over the years are put together like a little jigsaw puzzle. I can put the info into practice now and turn it into knowledge. No need to go into details on what it all means, but anyone interested in any of this can contact me, as I think I found some good knowledgeable people in these subjects. For me it means that by now I have gathered enough info. Time to put it into practice. All that  time I lived in Bagsu, a gentle yet over-build little village 20min walking away from McLeod Ganj, where the Dalai Lama recites. Me and Haku shared a great room with Inge, for us the 4th reunion in one year! All that time my home-on-wheels was parked up…until I rescued him from a molding completely due to a monsoon attack!

Dreads gone
It was also in this period that I woke up one morning and decided it was time… the dreads had to go. Inge was my companion-in-crime. Refreshing and no regrets whatsoever. Hair will grow again, which I welcome as I did not intend to look like a nun all my life. Reasons for cutting are many, but most of all simple things like the longing for a head massage again or able tobrush my hair and the fact that it felt really heavy and warm, along with the overall feeling that the dreads did their purpose. Can always choose to take them again in the future, but for  now I am loving my no-dreads-head!

After some whole sale shopping, last chai pio moments with friends and picking up the Pakistan visa, time has come to say goodbye to India for now. I am not running away, rather taking a break from her. Once introduced to India and fallen in love with (most of) her, it is impossible not to return again. Yet several reasons pull me towards the West. I did consider a  job offer and had other universe signs that seemed to indicate to stay, but knew West is where I really want to go at this moment. I say goodbye to India where I said hello 4,5 years ago: in Amritsar, at MsBhandari Guesthouse and of course the Golden Temple, a spiritual and beautiful place that definitely is worth a visit!

Now that is it clear that I can travel West, it hit me that I am really leaving this area after almost 5 years on this side... I am grateful for the special encounters with beautiful people and lots of things India has given me, through which I have grown. Don't look at the dirt on the streets, see the beauty of India! This will transform you, even when you don't realize.
If all goes well I should be back in NL, with my dog Haku and home-on-wheels by October… But will keep you updated in the meantime!
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Marry Oostdijk on

Weer een mooi verhaal over India. Nu aan de grote terugreis begonnen.
Geniet ervan maar wees ook voorzichtig. See you back in Holland.
Hartelijke groeten ook van ome Ad en Monique en Karin. Tante Marry

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