Mistery solved, Van Parked & Nepal Reunions
Trip Start Feb 05, 2009
29Trip End Dec 16, 2010
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Loooong again I was still in North India…and somebody in Vaishist wants me to stay as I am faced with a flat battery and an unwilling to open bonnet on the morning of departure…Shiva power? But no after some help Parvati wins and we are back on the road, slowly making my way down to Dun again.
In Dun I meet up with Mr Patel again, finalizing some paperwork for a possible work visa, then quickly continue to Rishikesh for some business-shopping for Roman and a reunion with Mukesh. In his little shop at the Ganges I completely unwind listening to his meditative music, enjoying the view and just being in the moment! That night we talk and talk….and decide to go to an (what turns out to be)
It's time to park up the van for some time as I will be traveling to Nepal and Europe without my-house-on-wheels. Bhooi and Rachel are amazing people in many ways. One of the things is that they let me park the van on their property for the whole period. The fact that it will be there for half a year or longer is not a problem at all. How lucky am I! To find it in good order again upon my return I cannot just park it and lock the doors…So the few days that I have here are mostly filled with packing things in metal boxes against rats, putting neem leaves between my cloths against insects, rat poison in the van, food
Before leaving India and returning to Nepal, I decide to stop in Delhi and Agra to meet some friends again! Bhooi has to go to Delhi as well, so we travel together in his jeep, this time me as a passenger with more time to enjoy the views. He explains me his theory about recognizing a muslim village: By a large population of palm trees…mostly along the access roads and railway tracks…Muslims go on a pilgrimage to Mecca and bring back dates as presents…these are eaten and the seeds thrown away after…the seeds turn into new palm trees. Truth or not, it is apparent that on our way to Delhi there are only palm trees (huge nrs) growing near Muslim communities!
In the middle of Delhi, yet viewed from above! Transferring from Bhooi’s jeep to Fawad’s car we drop my stuff at his place, buy drinks and go to my favorite spot in Delhi, on the top of an old building away from the crowds! The rest of the day we spend chilling and talking, good to be back, although its only for 1,5 days. The evening we make our way to Pahar Ganj and I cannot believe my eyes, the lovely narrow shopping road has been opened up, minimizing the shops and turning the street into an avenue, hope it will not loose its character due to this! Meeting up with Bob again, like as if we saw us yesterday! More drinks flow and a lot of catching up is done ;-o Next day also reunited with Lulu (and meeting her visiting mum)! We have only a few hours together this time as I have to jump on the train to Agra, my last social stop before making my way to the Nepali border.
First time back on public transport and it shows me her best side by giving me hours delay to arrive in the middle of the night! And of course the enthusiastic chai wallahs are not there when you really fancy an India sweet tea! Missing my van already ;-) Thanks inventor for mobile phone connection so me and Sunil are on hotline and him and his friend Ajay are at the station to pick me up…little later then expected but reunited again! Back to his uncles hotel…improvements have been made over the last 8 months, still old vibe there though, nice to be back. Our short time (only 2 days) together is a bit
Ajay 'forgets’ about the incident and helps me get on the bus to the Nepali border…thankx…only a 24 hour ride….looooooong journey! Packed with Indian people, no aircon, no space to stretch my legs and me acted as the local ‘Goedele Liekens’ giving sexual information to my male student bus-friend on request until he tells me stop talking with a red flushed head…getting more info then he bargained for haha
The border crossing is easy peasy. One quick stop at immigration office, visa bought, stamps received, no problem whatsoever. I don’t want to go straight on a 10 hour bus ride (to Kathmandu) again, so decide to stay overnight and have a good night sleep first, however the bed bugs think otherwise and keep me up most of the night itching! Hummm My first Nepali evening is spend having dinner with friends of my Nepali friend Naba, changing from Hindi for Nepali again! Dere Raamro!
10 hours later, but optimistically told to be only 6, I am back in Kathmandu! No hassle with overcharging taxi drivers as Naba is there to pick me up! How nice to see him again! A toast to our reunion ;-) Then back to my home-away-from-home…with Sini, the kids and by now also Masse and a dog called Otto! Walking back in through the gate feels so normal! Truly feels like coming home. It is
My time in Nepal, once again recovering from hectic India, is filled up with relaxing at home, reunion with friends, enrolling in the Vipassana (again) and making preps for a 3-week mountain trek by myself! And…the 3rd and for now last reunion with Nina again! Surviving hectic touristy Thamel by locking ourselves in the guesthouse room at times, just chilling, talking and watching a movie! It is so nice to meet up again, lots to talk about of course! Mama Mia movie last thing to do, feeling the child inside me again! Wonder where we will meet next time?
One week KTM (Kathmandu): Dutch reunion with Rene, Hedda & Willem, more time with Naba, birthday party, playing lots of UNO card games with the Olivia & Anttoni and watching all the Nepali people stress out for their biggest annual festival: Dashain, which lasts a fortnight with thousands of goats slaughtered on Durbar sq., social/working life coming to a stand still, it’s a family festival mostly, presents exchanging, a special Bhai Tika day, all in all bigger then our Xmas! One day I am invited to Naba’s house, where his wife Indu cooks a lovely typical Nepali meal.
I am back again, this time feeling more connected to the country and its people…a feeling that has become stronger during my 3 week trekking. More about this in my next story, to be put online soon as well!