Day 7: Out in the street, hungry, cold and homeless in the Kingdom

Day 7: Out in the street, hungry, cold and homeless in the Kingdom

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

After being stationary for more than an hour, we managed to get out of the roadblock. We reached Phuentsholing just past the midnight. It was raining heavily. We had already called up to the hotel earlier in the day that we would be coming tonight. Since we could not find any taxi, we walked through the rain to our hotel. As we got near, we found it closed! We knocked, banged, but to no avail. We knew that they wouldn’t be able to hear us due to the rain and also as they would be sleeping in the inner rooms.

We looked around to find any other hotels but all were closed. We asked a passerby who said that hotels maybe available in the other side of the border but the border gates would be closed by now. So we put our luggage in front of a shop and sat there. I could hardly control my laughter looking at our plight. I started clicking pictures to keep these moments to remember. Ravi was probably getting annoyed after seeing my reaction to the whole situation. I told him that this is the first time that I am out in the street for the whole night and I was just loving the experience. As we were clicking pictures, some guards who were on patrol, passed by. I wasn’t sure whether staying out in the street was illegal or not in this country. I told them that we came from Thimpu just now. He understood and told that one may get stuck in the route if he comes by the last bus. Now I understood why the bus was almost empty.

Ravi settled to sleep on top of some newspaper sheets, in front of the shop. I preferred to stay awake and look after the luggage. Thank god that there weren’t much mosquitoes I thought. I passed the time listening to the music and watching the rain fall in the street that we were on. I did not have my dinner and I don’t know how many meals I have skipped during the trip so far. The chocolates that I carry along when I travel, came handy.

The rain continued without any signs of abating and the guards continued their patrol as they passed by me for the third time. And here I am, waiting for the dawn. At around 4:45am, the sun rose up. I was so happy to see the street slowly getting back to life. One by one, the lights in the rooms around came on. Pigeons woke up. And so did Ravi. We crossed the border by 5:30am. And thus we were now back in India. It was for sure a special feeling for both of us. We then got into a bus to Siliguri from where we got into our train to Howrah.


Location: Siliguri

Date: 19.06.2010

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Day 6: A lazy day in Thimpu

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