07.08.2010 - 07.08.2010
We woke around 730 and packed for our journey, roughly 20min by rickshaw followed by an hour by bus to Dehra Dun. The journey out rishikesh somewhat less epic than the journey in as we were able to use the main bridge so not far. Alan came with us in the r shaw, and bought me an incence holder (which reminds me i must buy a lighter) in which to burn as i had been borrowing his!We got in said Rshaw and arrived at the bus depot no problem. Needless to say this was not where the bus in had dropped us and we were again reminded how much we get messed about over here, no wonder we can never find anything. We baord the bus and prepare for the off, well we would if he could get it started. A small group of locals get off and give us a push start, we both hope we dont stall 'en route'. The bus journey is lovelly, nice scenery, the air is getting cooler and we make good time to Dehra Dun.
We arrive at the bus station and i after some discussion i am able to find the point at which i can purchase a ticket. This yet again is not as easy as you would think, there is abus leaving in 30mins however i want the night bus and it is a while before we can make ourselves clear. The book said the tickety prive was 295 rups, so i am astounded when it is actually 700! I a m only concerened as i ahve been as yet unable to change over my traveleers cheques and as yet the cash point is still unable to porvide me with anything other than slips telling me my transation is declined! We pay the man although as is the way in this country i am still not sure that i actually have a ticket for the bus that i wnat and that i will actually be going in the correct direction, but such is life. The plan for today is to head to MAa Cozy Coffee lounge (i have read about it in my guide book adn its sounds fab). Like the one we went to the other day (althought that had clearly chacnged hands) it is an arabian style lounge with shisha etc....... We leave the bus depot, however we have now noticed that there appear to be 2 depots in D Dun so we ask a guy whicjh one we are at. Assured of our return name we head out to a rickshaw, Ras spots one and although he does not clearly understnd us he is happy to go to Rajpuir road for a fee of 100Rs. He asks uis the number of the place and we are unsure however we figure out on the way that is is 76, which presents the next problem as he does not understnad the number anyway!!!!(why ask?????) We get to the bottom of Rajpuir road quite quickly and although he is not sure of the number he is obviously keen for us to alight as soon as possbile as he now gets agaitated and starts to shout at us. Ras remains firm ans tells him he gave us the price and we told him the number and that is not good enough for him and it is further on. As he drives he gets quite mad and resorts to yelling as he goes along although this is quite pointless as neither of have a clue what he is saying! He pulls over and enlists ths help of a stranger, who in true comedy timing spends a age looking for his glasses so that he can read our map, wherupon he agrees with us and tesll the man to go on. We continue and he gets more and more cross, we see on the right hand side a coffee shop that i know is near the one we need and there is bank there so we tell him to go over the road and drop us off.
Once we alight i glance at the map and realise that we sill probably a good 20mins walk from the one that we want and i am concerned for the time as i dont want us to miss our connections. Ras insisits that we continue as we have come this far, we cross back over the road and try to find another rickshaw. One man pulls up he does not know where we need and he is not keen to take us just 5 mins up the road, in fact he is a bit of an idiot so raj gets cross and quite rightly asks him why bother to pull over if not prepared to take a fare. Another man pulls up and asks us to get in however he has 3 school boys in the back, probably age5 or 6, roughly 3foot tall each of them, but we have all our stuff and where we are all going to fit who knows. Yet another man pulls up (are there no women involved in rickshaw driving here???!) and he has his daughter in the back (roughly the same height as the boys before so must be school finishing time) he says 30Rs for the journay then he realises where we are going and DROPS (yes DROPS) the price to 20!!!! A nice man. We get in and 5mins later we emerge to the MAa Cozy Coffee Lounge. DOwnstairs looks a bit like a small maccy D's (insert favorite brand of fast food chain here) however we are directed upstiars (we much ahve looked hippy enough!!) where we find the lounge full of teenage 'oiks' smoking sheesha and listening to mobile phonw music and generally being turnips. We find seats around the corner and i go down to order. ON returing upstairs Ras is already causing mayhem as she has sparked up a cigarette and the sign (according to the now red faced man) quite clearly states 'no cigarette shisha only'. Ras has the required number of tokes before extinguishing.
We sit and have coffee, and a small (literally 6" diameter) pizza to tide us over. The atmosphere is okay but imagine with the season being off peak it is naturally quiet. The silly boys eventually leave and we are left to ourselves, the music is now playing 'snoop doggy doooogggggg' and we both giggle at the sillyness. IN fact all the music that follows is a string of 'gangster rap' goodness know why, buit anyway Bruv you would have loved it! We chill for a while and deceide to head back, however we first establish that we are going to the correct bus depot. (The train for RAs is not far and she decides to drop me first) We hitch a rickshaw in search of a bank, but when we arrive and i have squeezed through the smallest gap imaginable with my backpack we realise that the bank is in face closing (hence to half shut dorrs!!) and i still cannot change money. I have enought to last until monday so ia m not too concerned. We cross the road and attempt to engage a rickshaw back, after much deliberation we get one to old delhi bus station 30Rs. We do explain the 'BIG' bus depot for all connections however as the man pulls in we realise we are at the wong one! Another feued breaks out and he want to charge 100 to go all the way however RAs insists either all the way for 80 or we get out here and pay him10! I wonder how i will survive on my own after all these days, probably i will be broke by tuesday! Finally destination reached and the man cannot giove change for 100, however after much shouting he gives in and RAs gets the money.
The bus depot is quieter, i am still not entirely convinved i have the right ticket, nothing in this country entirely fills you with confidence. Ras decides to wait a while with me, at least i can buy snacks and go to the loo again before i go. (I have by now stop drinkingh and am on sips of water - 14 hours on bus not sure if they actually stop!!) Final loo stop and on my out there is a man yelling at me that i need to pay him for use of toilet, however iahve not got purse and i resent paying when the other loo was free and who the hell is he. He shouts for me to get money and come back but i ignore. When Ras goes she has a quiet word........nahj not really Ras cannot have quiet word, but she tells him he has no right to ask foreigners for money and he is makin the country look terrible until once more a small crowd have gathered and several people apologise for the mans behaviour.
We decide that the bus at my terminal is the one i need so after a last minute Hindi lesson (I am now fleunt in all of 5 words!) i tell Ras to carry on and gather up my things to board. HOwever i am yet agin shouted, but this time fortunately as i am about to get on the wrong bus.........(yes mum you knew it would happen!) The man says i have to wait for AC bus, however in India AC can sometimes just mean 'with window open' so you never really know. There is another man on the platform waitning with many bags so we ask is he is going to Dharmasala, he is and i will wiat with him. Ras says a fond farewell, it has been a very intense few days and i certain i would have struggled alone, what i lack in desicsion making and standing up for myself Ras has enough for the pair of us and have learnt much from my time with her, ever ringing in my ears is my new mantra.......dont let them F*** you over! Yes Ras i think i have got it!I sit down with my new freind who introduces himslef as Tenzen Sonam. He is Tibetan and heading home from D DUn after holiday although like me he finds it all very dry and busy. He says i will find peace in Dsala adn suggests i go up to Mcleod Ganj as that is where most people hang out and Dsala is abig city but now much there. I tell him i want to learn about meditation and Buddhism, and i would like to work or volunteer or something as plan to stay for 2weeks maybe more. He tells me it is possible to teach english to some of the Tibetand who are trying to better thier skills and gives me some pointers on where to go. Tenzen is a teacher, he teaches children tibetan language up to age 12, so idecide i ought really get a few words under my belt here and know. After much confusion with pronunciation and a good 10mins (This is going to be hard!) i master hello and thankyou. (Okay not a great achivement but once you have hello and thankyou go along way in any country i always think) We talk a while and eventually the bus arrives. I help him on with his stuff (he has presents for his family) and soon we are leaving Dehra Dun..................