Travel to McLeod ganj

It’s funny. Right as the flight attendant announced the decent, I realized I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m going from one city to another. I don’t know where, exactly, I headed, other than “it’s near a water tank”. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to be tomorrow morning, or when. I’m flying into an airport that’s probably about the size of the Santa Rosa Airport, and probably has fuck all facilities.

And the hardest part about it is I’m alone. No one to struggle through this with, no one familiar. No internet, unless I can find wifi, so no one I can even talk with stateside. Which, want difference would it make? I’d still be struggling through the same issues. Not too far from monkeys, are we?

Then I saw this:

And I figured, eh, it’s going to be fine. This is what I came for, it’s gonna work out.

And work out it did. I got off the plane (it was 70 something and sunny), and into the airport, which, as expected, was about as elaborate as STS. No wifi. I don’t like it. Off to a bad start. Walked out hoping to see a cab, but no luck. Well shit. Tried to walk back in the airport. The nice army man with an assault rifle said no, just after I walked out. I didn’t even leave his field of view. This is going swimmingly.

I walked further away from the airport, hoping that I could figure out which way “town” was and could find a taxi. Passing through the barricade, I hear “taxi, taxi” and my ears perk up. Of course he notices and comes running over. McLeod ganj? 800. Non negotiable. See, it’s written right here on paper.

Well, at least I got a ride to McLeod ganj. On the way, we pass by a cell phone store, so manage to communicate to my driver that I need to stop, he pulls over, and I get a SIM card. Hopefully, this leads to data.

Make it to McLeod ganj, and start wandering. Find myself a cafe that if I woke up in, I would assume was in Berkeley, at least till I got a good look out the window. The sound of milk foaming, burnt coffee, and hippies. Home. I get on wifi, and start getting my bearings. I decide on a game plan and pay my bill. The waiter asks where I’m staying and I tell him I was just about to find out. He shows me a couple rooms they have at a reasonable price, so I bite. And within an hour of landing a city away, and $20 later, I have a ride to the right place, a room, and a cup of ginger honey tea. Not bad.

I drop my stuff and wander some more. I get water. Then I get 16 veggie momos. For 80IND. So, awesome. I prep my bag for the next day, and crawl into bed to do so,e reading before passing out. fireworks have been going off all day, but then they start to pick up. First I just figure it’s just because it’s dark. Then I realize. Fuck. It’s Chinese New Year. Which is Tibetan new year, aka losar, which is why all those “happy losar” banners were hung up. I struggle between girls in blindfolds and comfort, and eventfully convince myself I have to prove it to me nothing’s going on. So I get up, throw on a jacket and wander. After wandering for 15 minutes, I managed to convince myself I wasn’t missing anything (I wasn’t, steets were deserted, shops were closed), and crawled back in bed and passed out.