Photos from India

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nepali Paradise

It was a hell of a rough journey by I am glad to be out of the slummy cities of Agra and Varanassi. After a cramped and crowded night train followed by a two hour jeep ride, I walked across the border to Nepal where I then bordered by far the bumpiest and bounciest bus I have ever ridden on in my life. It felt like riding on a combination of plywood and steel over a rocky landslide stricken road on my way to Pokhara, Nepal. Eight hours later, feeling as if I had been stuck in a washing machine for the last eight hours, I was tired and soar but happy to be in a friendlier and cleaner country.

The rapid change upon entering Nepal was astounding! In India, people were constantly pissing and shitting everywhere you looked. In the early morning light, looking out the window of my train I witnessed every person that lived near the train tracks squatting down and shitting in their back yards. Why after living there for year after year, it never has occurred to them to dig a pit, I will never know. Riding in cars and buses throughout India, around every corner is someone else pissing out in the open. It is impossible not to notice, it is everywhere you turn your head. I have never seen so many penises in my entire life, nor do I care to ever again! Combine all of that with the constant filth of trash, shit and cows on the streets and everywhere I visited in India outside of the Himalayas was like one giant slum! I am not kidding. Trash everywhere! Massive amounts of it of all sorts. There was not one single rubbish container anywhere in the country and no one ever cleaned up what was laying around!

Riding along in my bumpy bus up a winding mountain road I immediately noticed the change. No one using the toilet along the road, no trash along the way and everyone was ten times as friendly to us. When I finally arrived in Pokhara, I couldn't believe how clean the streets were. Not a bit of trash to be seen. The hotels looked like royal honey moon sweets compared to those in India and the white table clothed restaurants that lined the streets were a welcome change to the dirty places I found myself eating throughout the low lands of India.

Now I have awoken after a good nights rest, finished a pot of coffee as I sit on my balcony watching the mist clear from the nearby tree covered hills. The sun is still low in the sky and the steep snowy peaks of the Annapurna range are glowing in the sun. With a lake that is deep blue and surrounded by lush green rice paddies, the stark contrast of the white snow on the peaks and the blue sky overhead is a breathtaking sight to behold. I am already regretting now coming to Nepal sooner and find that I may be hard pressed to ever leave.

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