Crossing Over: 4510km

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”

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As I crossed the border into Nepal I was elated. I was finally in Nepal, a country I had dreamed about visiting for years, and one of the countries I am most looking forward to getting to know. It was time for me to get out of India as well. Though I had a mostly wonderful experience, the last week has been taxing and has unfortunately left me with a somewhat sour taste of the area. (Besides my issues with the men and the constant unfriendly stares, I was also ripped off by rich business men every night for hotel rooms since they knew I had no other choice.) Nevertheless, I will be returning once again to India next summer (after about five months in Nepal), notably to the mountainous regions of Spiti, Ladakh, and Kashmir. But more about that another time, for now, I am in Nepal.

I love this country. Well, as much as someone can love something after four days at least. Within a few kilometers of entering Nepal, I had children running after me waving and shouting, the women would stop and smile, and I was no longer constantly playing leap frog with rude men. I realized that this was my chance for a fresh start with a new country, so I left my frustration behind at the border and started waving back to all the people who waved at me as I passed.

A mere 40km in I was waved over by a beautiful laughing eighteen year old girl selling fruits and vegetables at the side of the road. I went over to buy a few bananas and she straight away invited me to stay at her house. And of course, that is exactly what I did.

5 thoughts on “Crossing Over: 4510km

  1. Dear Shirin,
    I am pleasantly surprised to learn so much about India after reading your blog, even though I am an Indian. I guess I took for granted many things that a tourist migit notice. I must say the staring and harassment by men that you had to suffer is indeed a cause of shame for our society. If I am not wrong you seem to have travelled through a few of the northern states in India. If you were to come back to India I suggest you wander the southern, western, and north-eastern states in India. I believe you’d be surprised to pass by a more friendly lot of men.
    Have a safe trip.

    • Hello! Well I’m glad even a local like yourself could learn something from it,like you said, it is probably a different perspective coming from a tourist, especially a young female since young female Indians don’t travel alone. Yes, I have heard some of the other parts are more friendly, on my second trip back I also visited the Punjabi region and Kashmir which were easier, though the starring and harassment was of course still present.

  2. The thing is India is less a country and more like a continent. Imagine all the countries in Europe were to form single nation and you have a reference to guage India. I like to call her a civilization state. When you travel to south, west or other parts of India the culture, language and many things vary considerably from what you experienced. Of course some things are same. (Our own Same, same but different 😉 ). Northern girls and even actresses (Huma Qooreshi) openly admit they feel a lot safer in Mumbai than in Delhi.
    P.S. – I wish to visit Canada someday. May be you could write about some interesting places there.

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