blogging in the hills of India is a bit of a luxury, imagine that. This has to be quick but just keep it up to date I arrived here in Darjeeling yesterday after an 11 hour train ride from Kolkata and a 2 hour jeep ride through the hills from the last major train station in Northern India. Spent yesterday trying to get a permit to Sikkim (the area just north of here). The permit is a formality, it's free and anyone can get one, yet I must play the game and shuttle back and forth between government offices looking for the right bureaucrat with the right stamp. In the office yesterday there were several people, Indians and foreigners complaining that various permits that they applied for in 2003 were still stuck in limbo! Mine should be ready today, I hope.
While in this cybercafe I just noticed a young guy from Darjeeling flirting with someone in a chat room! Wow. Never expected that.
Darjeeling is an Indian tourist mecca, crowded and very commercial but it feels good to be back in the hills where it's cool and the people speak Nepali. At last I can follow the gist of what people are saying.
Oh yeah, 3 rupee tea in Darjeeling tastes exactly like 3 rupee tea in Kolkata. Hummmm...
I've also decided on a route through eastern Nepal... more on that tomorrow!