• A jeep back to Siliguri
It’s a beautiful day and I have porridge on the rooftop admiring the Himalaya’s in the glorious sunshine. I chat with the owner and found out that Gorkaland doesn’t want to separate from India but wants an independent state. It was a good chat and I learnt a lot.
But its time to leave Darjeeling even though it’s beautiful I’m so frickin’ cold. So down I walk to the jeep stand back to Siliguri and load my backpack on the roof and start chatting away with one of the passengers.
He is a Christian and I learn later he is a catholic. His wife turns up as she has bought some grub for the trip. He says he is going to buy oranges so I tag along and he gives me one. I have met so many generous Indians and each time it gets me, it’s simply an orange.
Rather than an eight hour train trip, this will take less than three hours over lumps and bumps called a road. But my new found friend Genesis and his wife Diana are charming and we chat to while away the hours. There’re a nice couple and their English is beyond excellent.
We go down and down and I start to peel my clothing. I had worn my down jacket, my thermal underwear and regular underwear. But now it’s getting warmer and warmer and I am glad I made the decision to leave Darjeeling.
They drop me off at one of the jeep stands and I am confronted with, “Darjeeling”, “Gangtok”, and “Kathmandu” from the jeep touts. I say “No thank you” and head back to the hotel I stayed in a couple of days ago and am looking forward to a decent shower.
Last night my new roll-up keyboard bit the bullet. Armed with my trusty Swiss Army pen knife I ripped though the plastic and no luck so first to find a computer store. Yes! I get a regular keyboard, obviously made in China, for $7.50 then to post some Darjeeling pictures at an Internet place.
I haven’t eaten all day so I go to Khana Khanzana restaurant recommended in my LP. I don’t know what I ordered but it was good. I decided also on a green salad consisting of tomato, onion, some white vegetable, an orange with white in the middle thingy and the only green vegetable is a cucumber. But who cares.
So back to the hotel to chill!