Culture shock for the first time!
Reaching India was not the problem. Getting out of the country, however, came out to be a far more challenging tusk. Please notice that I’d never been travelling alone, especially out of Europe so the moment I found myself in the most chaotic place ever (Main Bazaar, Paharganj Delhi) almost knocked me out entirely. Undoubtedly, this extremely loud and crowded place has a lot of charm and beauty. On the other hand it may cause some serious culture shock or at least a constant headache as well.
After surviving first day in India I had to find my way to Nepal. Buying a ticket in the main train station located nearby Main Bazaar is considered to be a legendary achievement. Luckily I managed to do so and the next thing I had to face was over fifteen-hour travel by Indian train fully packed with local people. To avoid any inconvenience I decided to take a top bunk. Sitting up there was the best way to hide myself from beggars who were taking over the train, every single time we stopped.
At last I made my way over to Gorakhpur (more than 700 kilometres) and the first thing I had in my mind after I’d arrived was finding a public toilet… but maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t done it. I will spare you any unnecessary description and just skip to the moment when I had to jump over a dead rat and then passed at least a dozen of holy cows roaming freely the main road. After trying not to slip on cowpats or step in something much worse I finally located the jeep heading towards Sonauli – the Nepali border. It was a tight squeeze inside the vehicle but there were also some people travelling outside the car – somewhere around the roof I guess. Obviously the lading was not over until I was sitting in the fetal position surrounded by strange people and even more stranger carried items. We were going round in circles for a while so I wasn’t even surprised so much when we run out of gas eventually. And then the real fight started… The driver and some two other guys demanded more money from all of us. Men were arguing, women were crying and I simply closed my eyes pretending to be asleep. All in all, they managed to extort more money from some passengers and we carried on… just until 20 minutes later when we had a flat tire. A bit upset, I decided to go out the car and look around. My phone was dead and I clearly had no clue where I was or how come I ended up here, on the verge of some Indian road. Back then I couldn’t do anything but sit and smile to bunch of kids playing in the mud nearby.
It was already getting dark when we finally reached the Nepali border. I could stay there or continue my insane journey. Without hesitation I decided to take the last bus heading to Pokhara that day. As expected, the ride was kind of extreme – bumpy road, loud oriental music and lots of luggage scattered all over the bus. In spite of being surrounded by chaos, I had no difficulty in taking a nap.
Suddenly, somebody woke me up and said that I must go off the bus. A little confused I did what I was told and that is how I found myself in total darkness. It seemed that I finally arrived at place of destination but it was also a point where I run out of any further ideas. Somehow I managed to get a taxi so that I spent the rest of the night in some random hotel. On the next morning I started to look for my school where I was about to become a volunteer. Since at this moment my phone was totally useless I decided to asked for help in some local UPC agency. Luckily for me I had the number to the principal… Unfortunately, it turned out that he was not there anymore. In the end, I was given another number but this time the problem was slightly different – the language barrier. The guy who borrowed me phone came to the aid of me one more time. As the result I was finally instructed to make for the Devi’s Fall where someone was about to pick me up. Surprisingly everything worked out and I reached the school eventually. After almost 5 days of travelling I could relax and catch a breath.