The happiness of reaching our destination, soon burst into some kind of growl and we did make a huge amount of noise before alighting the bus. We all thanked the IAS uncle of Lime kumar for arranging such a wonderful and luxurious hotel for us. As planned, we have reached our hotel in Kathmandu on Day 4, evening.
The check in process was smooth, the lounge of the hotel itself showed the class and most of us were going to stay in such a hotel for the first time in life. We were escorted to our rooms. 4 persons per room and the suite was really luxurious. The bathrooms also had that exquisite feel and we did not feel like using it, for we were not used to such kind of luxury.
Freshened up immediately and we all were eager to step out of the hotel and roam around this town. We decided not to go together, but to go as separate gangs, each comprising of 3 to 4 people.
The first thing we noticed as we step out is the neatly concreted roads unlike the tarred roads we have in India. The city was bumbling with activity. We felt as if we are in some European country as the people we see the most were Europeans than the local people. Most of the shops here are manned by Indians. But surprisingly they will behave as if they are from the local community the moment they understand that we are from India. Might be a business tactic so that customers from India don’t walk away with reductions by using national sentiments.
The money value of Kathmandu rupee was less than Indian rupee, which made all of us rich instantaneously. But this joy was short lived as we found that the cost of items was double than that of India.
We had to find some hotel for food. All the hotels were the ones with pubs and discotheques. We, being from a place which does not have any pubs, we were sure not to feel at home once in that place. But deep inside our heart we wanted to know what is happening inside because we have heard only stories of such hotels. Another worrying factor was the ignorance of cost of food in these hotels.
Managed to get inside one of these hotels. The low lighted hotel was completely filled with people. Our eyes were in for a treat because of the number of “Well Dressed” young ladies dancing on the dance floor, but may be due to the luxurious ambience, we were not completely at home. Managed to find seats amidst the smoke, the running lights, loud music and the dancing beauties. The more time we sat there, we felt more and more comfortable and finally we were able to enjoy the scenes (read beauties) around, but completely glued to our seats.
The menu arrived and the first thing we noticed was the triple digit figures in the right side column for all the items on board. We were looking at each other. After lot of permutations and combinations we ordered items on a sharing basis. The bearer told us that, what we ordered is enough for only one person. But we did not change what was ordered.
Another funny exercise which we did was to use some “good” Mallu words to the waiter and asked if such an item is available. The waiter, naturally was quite amused and we will tell him that such items are available right across Europe. Soon we found out that we could air our views or discuss all items around us pretty loudly in our local slang because no one around is going to understand. Enjoyed a beautiful session of group discussion on all kinds of matters amidst the heavy public.
Once out of the hotel we wanted to have a stroll around, but the walk ended soon as we were completely tired of the journey and wanted to get back to the hotel as soon as possible. We reached the hotel and were surprised to see a lot of girls in the reception, all in the age group of 10 to 15. They were in such huge numbers that we were unable to find a way between them. Was surprised when we heard them talking in Hindi and English. Soon realised that they also came here for annual tour of their school at Bangalore.
Almost all of us assembled in a single room. Each one of us had a story to share about the hotel we visited for having dinner and the “road side scenes”. The day prolonged so much that it was past 12 when we decided to finally plunge to a dream world.
Day 5 is scheduled for a guided tour in the city and the trip is supposed to start very early in the morning.
Part 7: Kathmandu - A guided tour (Click to read)
The story so far: (Click to read)
Part 1 - The plan
Part 2 - The Approvals
Part 3 - The Journey begins - Palghat - Jhansi
Part 4 - Another side of Life - Jhansi - Gorakhpur
Part 5 - The Himalayan Cruise: Gorakhpur - Kathmandu Bus Trip
Part 6 - First Night at Kathmandu
Part 7 - Exploring Kathmandu - A guided tour
Part 8 - Bye bye Kathmandu - Enter New Delhi
Part 9 - Exploring Delhi - A guided Tour
Part 10 - Experiencing Symbol of Love, Then Symbol of Humility
Part 11 - The return Trip via Konkan
Part 12 - Then and now !!!!!!!!