Who knew it could be so difficult?
Trip Start Nov 14, 2003
35Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
So, there we were trying to leave Kathmandu...we get all of our bags outside the hotel, try to catch a cab when the sky opens up and it starts pouring...and no cabs. 30 minutes later we roll up to the bus park late per usual for us. Luckily, they waited for us...but not so luckily we were strategically placed between two Israelis in front who insisted on kicked their seats ALL the way back so their heads were practically laying in our laps....and behind us, we had a family of four fitting into two seats who insisted that we not move our seats back an inch. Okay, perfect!
So, we make it to the border neither one of us having slept a wink....but the man that our travel agent promised would meet us with our other ticket to Delhi....wasn't anywhere to be found. So, we found ourselves on two rickshaws racing around trying to find this alleged ticket man to no avail....we get sent to some other guy who gives us another piece of paper that we're to take to another hotel...wherein yet another man allegedly has tickets for us.
But on the way, whilst trying to exchange money, we get into a knock-down-drag-out with some shady money changer. We tried to reason with the money changer, but it quickly turned to fighting as he owned up to what he was doing and had no excuses for it, chaney storms out in search of the police, while all his friends start to close in. Okay, not feeling completely comfortable at this point...and where's chantra? They get her back inside and sit us down and basically admit to trying to screw us, but only give us about half our money back. But we're really in no position to fight with them as we're outnumbered and they're bigger than us ;)
At this point, the bus is leaving...the local bus...not the tourist bus we paid for. So we get on with tickets in hand...get all of our luggage sorted, when, the conductor comes back to us and demands to see our tickets. Okay, fine....we show him, he questions why the edges are a little ripped...then, he proceeds to demand full fare from each of us saying that the travel agent hasn't paid for the tickets. First off, this is India....and you don't get ANYTHING until you pay for it...and he is so obviously trying to get any money out of us he can. However, we are tired, we have an insane amount of luggage and so we conceded to the 400 rupees because we can't be bothered to get off this bus and find another. He should have been well-happy with this...an extra 400 rupees screwed out of unsuspecting westerners. But, oh no, he had to get greedy and demand that...well, maybe we should pay another 400.
This is the breaking point and we very calmly said, "okay give us our money we're getting off now." Then, he won't give us our money and he's trying to walk away and talk fast with our 400 rupees in his hand....whatever built up rage we felt from the money changing incident didn't help the situation and this conductor got the full wrath. I honestly don't think he ever saw it coming because we went from being calm to angry so quickly...and his face went completely blank. We both jump up start screaming at him to give us our money back...and when he starts walking backwards and turning away, chantra lunges at him, grabs the money and we proceed to get off the bus. He very quickly backed down, saying, "okay, please sit, please sit."
So, that's sorted out...we get all settled in, move up front, make friends with the driver. Then, the tire blows out so we stop...this is when the conductor tells us we need to move...but the driver doesn't want us to move b/c he's been enjoying my discman and our cookies and chips for over 300 kms..why would he want us at the back of the bus? They end up getting in a huge fight about where we're to sit....the conductor storms off, the driver somehow wins by moving some people around...and chantra and I sit huddled together with earphones on just wondering if this could get any worse.