The SIM I bought yesterday still doesn’t work.. I called the number “59059” and entered the 4 digit number of my passport as instructed. It said “It has been succeeded. It will be activated in 30 minutes.” It has been more than 30 minutes since then but doesn’t work. Why..?
By the way, I bought the SIM from airtel and chose the plan that is valid for 56 days with 1 GB everyday with free calls. It was only 449 rupees. (730 yen)
I didn’t see any foreign tourists there and I felt people were staring at me. Is it because I was a foreigner or because I was a woman? Then I noticed that there was no women walking on the street. Things that were sold there was stuff like water pipes, cylinders, electric appliances, etc.
By the way, M, the girl who seemed not so friendly yesterday came to me an d said, “We’re going to go to the park later. You should come with us.” I said “Of course yes!” I was happy that she asked me. She said it will be in the afternoon so I would just do my mission today before joining them. My mission was to get a SIM and get a medication for my stomach.
Two Indian guys from the same room talked to me. A guy Mayur was the first one who talked to me when I checked in and asked me many questions such as where I was from, what am I going to do in India, hey had a Japanese guy in the dormitory but he left yesterday, etc. He said he came from the Northeast called Assam and he is in Delhi for some kind of interview (Forgot what it was.). Very nice and friendly.
When I told him I had stomach problem, he gave me one of the medication.he had from his father who is a doctor. He showed me a big bag full of medications as if he was a pharmacist. He picked the medication for me based on the symptom that I told him. He made a phone call to his father and told him asked his father making that he was the one who got the Delhi belly so he can give me the right one.
He even gave me ORS powder to help my dehydration. What a nice Indian he is! I took it right away as I was told.
Wait. I just took the medication from a stranger. What if it was a poison? Can’t believe I have just taken unknown medication from unknown person… Ok, calm down. if I find the name of the medicine I can just google it! Yes! I looked at the back of the package, it’s written in something I cannot read…
Well, it’s too late now. It’s gonna be fine. He didn’t look like bad person. If something went wrong, I can handle when that happens. I am very quick to let it go in this type of situations. People often tells me I am always calm. I think that’s because I usually don’t attach with things. I may just be shallow-minded in that sense. Either way, I look after what I did as an adult. I take my responsibility.
And the result of the medication? It worked! Feel so much better! Maybe it’s right that local medication works the best. (I mean it’s not Delhi belly but Nepali belly but anyway…)
Everything turned out great! Phew. Thank you India. Thank you Mayur!
In the evening, hostel staffs took the guests for the night walk in the neighbor.
My stomachache is gone so I was able to enjoy my first street food in India! Happy.
And, I got a SIM nearby with the help of Ankur, a staff of the hostel. The phone should be activated the next day. Yay.
Guess what I saw!! I saw the Himalayas! It was so amazing. Magnificent that made me speechless. I didn’t even want to take a breath. Felt like I would have lost the moment if I did. All I could do was just keep my eyes open. And of course take many pictures.
The reason why I finally got to see the himalayas is….
Anyways, first I took off Kathmandu Airport.
Is it because of the weather or the pollution? It was hazy.
Good bye Nepal. It was nice to meet you.
Then, shortly after the take off. What? Is that? Yes! Must be!
When I was searching about the flights to Delhi, I found this information in someones blog mentioning that you can have Himalaya’s amazing view if you take the flight from Kathmandu to Delhi. So I reserved the window seat on the right side near the front so the view can’t be blocked by the wing. Just as the blogger said.
Still I was not expecting this clear view. It is totally worth to pay additional fee (Only about 1000 yen.). I’m proud that I made the right decision. (Er, wasn’t it the info from the blogger?)
And here I am atIndiraGandhi International Airport. Already!
I observed the city of Delhi. The city seems very organized. Wow, the streets seem to follow a grid pattern. Delhi is indeed a metropolitan! That means they have good infrastructure, right? And that means they have hot shower, right? I just couldn’t help feeling these small expectations coming out from my head.
Starting from April 2017, as a Japanese, you can get a visa on arrival if you fly into India. Even in-advance application online is not required. Quite a special treatment. I think that this is because that India recently bought the Shinakansen (bullet train) infrastructure system from Japan which made the diplomatic relations between the countries more important. If that’s the reason, then I guess I should thank Abe-san (Prime minister)? Thank you Abe-san. Thank you India.
I straight walked towards the counter. I glanced at the long queue with many foreigners as I was passing by them.
I found an airport employee and told I wanted to apply for the visa. He told me to wait for the person in charge to come. I waited for 30 minutes. There were two other Japanese business men in suits.
The old man (the passport control officer) came and said hello to me with smile. I said hello with smile too. Then he asked me if I had a pen that he can borrow. (in my head: Why on the earth you don’t even have a pen to do your job?) I handed him my pen with a nice smile. You know it’s clever to be nice to him until you get a visa. Later I noticed that he didn’t return the pen! It’s just a pen but I liked that pen with a little sumo wrestler on the top. WelI, okay. I donate it to him. I’m sure that my little pen is doing great job at the airport now.
The application fee for visa is 200 rupees. I wanted to pay with my credit card as I didn’t have the rupee currency yet. But the card reader didn’t work for some reason so I paid with Japanese yen. I paid 4000 yen and got 270 rupees change back.
He came with me all the way to the hostel for me to check in smoothly. The whole way from the airport to the hostel, he also kindly showed me his talking skills. (He actually said that’s what he is good ast. Lol. ) How nice he is!
The hostel staffs were very friendly and welcomed me with smiles. So relieved.
After check-in, we went to the shopping mall nearby by auto rikshaw to grab a lunch at the food court there. The big nice modern mall made me happy. We had wrap sandwiches and lassi at Amit’s favorite place.
Water. You would think that Nepal is water-rich country because it’s surrounded by the Himalayas. But it doesn’t necessarily mean so. Yes, there is abundant of water. But it’s not provided properly to the housings due to the poor infrastructures. There was an outdoor laundry place (I think it’s public) in the city and saw people hand-washing their laundry.
In Pokhara, I saw they put the clothes just on the grass by the lake fro drying.
The washing machine doesn’t seem as common. I saw some home appliance stores that had washing machines but since the water supply is not sufficient especially for the machine that consumes so much water. It could be not as useful as you would expect even if you own one.
Electricity. Although it may be common sense to conserve electricity. Everywhere I stayed, you will find the note on the wall or in the room that request you to save electricity and water. And Often times, the hostel staffs turn off the lights when they find they’re on in the empty room. I am more aware of how much I use them so it’s good. I experienced power cut for three times during my stay but none of them didn’t last more than five minutes.
Hot shower. As I wrote about it in the previous entry, I think it was the biggest thing for me personally. The solar panels are used in Nepal to heat the water, there is a limit and of course it depends hugely on the weather that day. You end up having to take a cold shower sometimes. I asked how they do in the rural area where is no solar panels, especially in cold winter. They said that they just take bath during the day when it’s relatively warm. They have firewood but they usually don’t use them for bath but they use for cooking.
Air. Was bad in Kathmandu. Dust and pollution. The local people seems suffering from it. They wear a mask usually black ones. Non-paved roads and motorbikes cause constant dust that covers everything. Trees, cars, windows, products at shop front. Everything is hazy and gray. Green leaves, flowers no longer have distinct colors.
Electric wires. Just look at this chaos. It is the art that I never understand.
Red clothes.Not sure why but Napali women often wear red clothes.
Man and woman.At restaurants, hostels, stores, buses, taxis, all I see is men working. Well, there are women too but men by far. At least that’s my impression. I heard that both men and women get married by arranged marriage when they become around 25 years old. Makes me wonder women stay home after getting married. Do they work before getting married? Do they go to college?
Toilet paper. You dcan’t expect toilet papers at hostels or restaurants. (Well, if you go to touristy cafes maybe.) Like in Thailand, here you also find a hose installed by the toilet bowl. Clean water spray that you can use to wash yourself after use toilet. It is a simple version of the washlet in Japan. Once you used to it, you will like it. I still prefer to use toilet paper to finish up so I always carry my own toilet paper in my bag. I think without toilet paper, you can simply leave it as is just let it dry naturally.
My nationality.Often times, I was thought to be a local Nepali by the Nepalis. I entered some tourists places without paying the entrance fee. Of course I didn’t do it intentionally. Like at Durbar Square, and Pashupatinath where I ended up entering from the crematory side, there were local people there but nobody said anything. They just let me in. (Usually it’s free for Nepalis to enter temples.) Come to think of it, I always get the reaction from the local people in Thailand that they thought I was Thai. My Thai friend said I look mix.
I found out that there was entrance fee when I talked other travelers. I’m sorry Nepal. It just happened unintentionally. Really.
Tomorrow, finally? at last? I’m flying to Delhi, India. I’m nervous. Just the number of the population of a billion makes me feel intimidated.. Overwhelming. Luckily, my friends introduced me of their Indian friend who is currently living in Delhi and he is going to come to the airport to pick me up. That is a great relief because I didn’t want to walk around in the crowd and possibly get lost with my big backpack. Just having someone at the airport makes me feel so relieved.
I’m back to Kathmandu. Today’s hostel is YADO240., where Nepali husband and Japanese wife are the owners. Booked through Booking.com as usual. I usually choose a hostel with a review score more than 8.5. YADO240. was not only with high score but they had a review that mentioned that hot shower is available for 24 hours. So this was absolutely for me who is seeking for hot shower. Lol.
It is 15 minutes walk away from the tourist area Thamel. This is more like business center with many banks. Right across the street, there is super market and 100 yen store like Diaso in Japan. Unlike Thamel, the road were paved and there are name brand shops and western fast food stores such as KFC. I didn’t know that there was an area like thin in Kathmandu.
Today, I visited Pashupatinath. It is the biggest Hindu temple in Nepal and a world heritage. Also known as crematorium.
I took a local bus for the first time in Nepal. There is no specific bust stop sign board nor the destination on the bus but you can guess by many people and buses are stopping. To every bus, I would shout and ask “Pashupatinath?”. I was lucky that 3rd bus was going to Pashupatinath.
You feel it’s 150% full. Once you got on the bus, you wouldn’t be able to move. I knew it can be like this according to my preliminary research so I locked my backpack, and prepare small cash for bus fare in my pocket where I can access easily when payment.
I kept walking wondering maybe is this it? I glanced at where the smoke was coming out. Wait.. Have I just seen…? What?
I felt my mind and body froze. I slowly moved my head and glanced again at the same spot. Just as I thought, it was human’s feet. Burnt.
I’m sorry… I said in my head. I felt I saw something I should had never seen, at the same time I felt it would have been rude to feel sorry because it is just a human body in a sacred ceremony. I was somewhat confused.
She is not in the picture above but I saw a woman sobbing out loud on the ground. Right by her side, there were men who were silently proceeding the work of the ceremony sometimes confirming the process with each other. It seemed like they’re doing in a businesslike manner in a way.
As I walked up the stairs across the cremation site, I saw people who seemd have having fun laughing. They said that you walk with your hands toward the the hole on the wall, with your eyes closed. If your hands meet the hole, your wish will come true.
There are dead bodies just down the stairs and on the other hand, there are young people who are making their wishes. Made me feel a life and a death exist at the same place. I was no longer scared of the dead body I saw earlier.