Yup, unfortunately, they did notice the overstay on the Visa. After some sentimental goodbyes in the morning, I headed to the airport to await my fate. Although handcuffs were deemed unnecessary, my passport was confiscated and I was marched into detention by the police. I was never an actor in my younger days (unless you count all those times I ‘acted’ crying like a baby when the big boys picked on me), but the drama lessons in school must’ve rubbed off. Finally grateful for the fact that I can cry out of my right eye almost on cue (a result of several operations on the eye as a toddler), and finally grateful for that stutter I seem to develop when I’m nervous, I managed to convinced them that it was all a big misunderstanding and they just charged the standard fee rather than the astronomical amount they initially threatened me with. Ems 1-0 Immigration Police. Having said this, I have a suspicion that I’m expelled from the country for a period of time, though my level of Bangla is not sufficiently advanced to enable me to confirm this. No doubt I’ll find out when I try to go back one day.
Despite this, I was tempted to ask for a refund given that the flight was delayed by 6 hours with no reason given. Even the flight had its moments. Having been present for the start of the monsoon season in Bangladesh, I’ve seen plenty of lightening over the past two weeks, but it looks all the more majestic when viewed from above through an aeroplane window. “Seatbelts on” says the announcer. Yeah, because THAT will make all the difference when our flying tin of sardines is electrocuted!
On arriving in Kathmandu, I was offered a ride in a taxi. Not being one to think about…erm….anything really, I took it, and 10 minutes in, I started to worry that I was being kidnapped much like a scene from ‘Taken’ – then I remembered I’m not two stunning European teenage women, and instantly felt safer. I headed straight to a hotel recommended by some friends – “they bring you breakfast on the roof” they said. Yup, my room is on the roof itself. Win!
The first thing you notice in Kathmandu in the sheer volume of tourists…..everywhere. I don’t mean travellers, I mean ‘tourists’. You can spot a tourist by one, or more of the following characteristics:
- An uneven beard
- Loose trousers that are either too long, or two short
- Tie-dye clothes
- An ‘un-washed’ smell – “because I’m travelling man, it’s cool….”
- A self-important, self-centred attitude
- Every conversation involves some of the following words: “it’s a cultural/social/political/spiritual experience maaan….”
This is far as I had written before now. I shan’t expand further on my time here due to the events that have occurred since. It seems inappropriate to talk, even retrospectively, of the beauty that is (was) this city. I had a great time here, and my heart and soul goes out to those affected by the Earthquake.
Here also ends the stories of my Bangladesh adventure. Move on now to the 'Nepal Blog' to continue.....