It was three or four days in the making, but I did actually manage to leave. Sigh.
A goodbye to the kids that was only supposed to be a couple of hours but ended with me spending the night with them. I mean seriously, how is it humanly possible to resist rumbuncious boys and doe-eyed girls when they ask "You sit here tonight sister?"? I tried to resist. Really I did. But in the end they won me over. Like they knew they would. I know, I'm a complete sucker. Gimme a cheeky grin and I'm wrapped round your little finger.
Next on the agenda was achieved with little fanfare- printing out my ticket confirmation thingy for my Indian visa. Absolutely unexciting in its extreme ease of accomplishment. Course now obtaining said visa was a little less straightforward.
It was Sunday you see, and unlike any other governmental office in Kathmandu, the Indian embassy was closed. No biggie. I'll just rock up on Monday morning, get the visa and bugger off that night. I should have learnt by now that any plan I tend to make seems doomed to failure.
You can picture it can't you... It's Sunday night, I've got nothing to do, nowhere (really) to be, so lets have my farewell do! Fantastic idea! We hung out at my mate UV's place for a bit, had a feed, had a couple of cocktails* and then hit the local club for my belated birthday lapdances. The locals couldn't help but piss themselves laughing at the shinaniggins. My mates dragging some poor pommie lads into the lapdancing ensemble. T'were hilarious!
You know where this is heading don't you? Got home in the wee hours and then rocked up to the embassy round 1130am. They closed for visa applications at 12 noon. There were a lot of people waiting for the same thing as me. A LOT of people. So I flagged it and decided to go see my other kids (Hattigauda Kids) and say goodbye. But it started to rain. That idea got flagged aswell. I know, the queen of procrastination. So I hung out. Again. But this time there were no late night lapdances. In bed early and out to the embassy, application filled in, money paid, just had to come back and pick up the passport and go to the bus stop. Easy... Whatever.
Still had to say goodbye to the Hattigauda Kids, but I totally wussed out. Ended up just giving a letter to their new guardians and blah, blah, blah.
Headed back to UV's bar to drown my sorrows and discovered a French chap we had meet the night before was heading to India the next day in a car and didn't mind if I tagged along. Well! Do you really think my rubber arm needed to be twisted very hard to get me to stay? Hell no! A free ride to India- are you kidding me!?!? So I spent the night drinking UV's mates under the table. I mean seriously, I was the nana (grandmother) of the group and I was the only one still up and running at 530 in the morning when I had to go meet Jean (the French dude) to pick up my ride. Pasang (a newly acquired drinking buddy) played the role of the gentleman (having just woken up) and carried my bag to Jean's hotel and kindly asked Jean's driver if I could join the "party". Driver agreed and we where off!
Nepal. Good times. Great friends. Great memories. A lot of love. I will miss not being there.
Turns out the driver didn't have the authority to give me permission to get in the car, so when we rocked up to Varanasi, Jean's travel agent tried to get USD140 out of us. Me having no money, I thought this was bloody hilarious. Jean refused to pay and we ended up in the cop shop. I was never really worried bout paying (arrogant I know), and turned out we didn't have to. The cops thought it was quite funny (I think) and after getting in front of an officer and explaining both sides, and the travel agent not handing over a bribe, the officer told us to go. Grumpy old bugger that he was. So 16 hours driving with some dude who was chomping on beetle nut to stay awake, followed by 1 hour trying to sort out the "permission" drama, and I was finally in India proper. To be continued the next day with another long arse journey by train to Mumbai (Bombay). Whistle-stop tour of India. Bring on a holiday!
*there are vids of UV flairing on the Vimeo link