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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Chasing the key to the North

The main obstacle when travelling solo is the absence of another person who'd willingly kick the loner's butt. Single travellers have no choice but to immerse themselves in the mystical arts of the Far East and master the appropriate acrobatic tricks to cope without assistance.

Luckily, I've been in the right area for a while now, and even though I'm as flexible as a concrete pillar, I managed to observe and replicate the key movements.

the IG lie and reality


a chill Sunday

In response to the forced, corona-induced isolation the whole northern India turned like a British navy sailboat spotting a golden egg on the horizon.

With a thorough absence of foreign tourism, the tourism industry's sweeping palms turned to domestic tourists. Great news for the flourishing Indian middle class, uniformly travelling in appropriate family formations, with pre-arranged agencies. A deadly blow for free-spirited wanderers like me. Geniuses among the authorities have established that to prevent the fatal enrichment of foreign minds with stray Chinese bullets, accompanied by the need of endless paperwork, it's necessary to stick a guide next to every foreigner and, for ease of managing the disobedient chickens, tie them into disharmoniously clucking pairs.

Mahatma Gandhi Marg, the tourist heart of the town


locally produced, but never consumed

And so I set out on a local hostel tour, to find another singularity. What a fantastic plan of the day: have a tea in each place. Except for one minor obstacle:

tiny steps, doo-doo, doo-doo

tiny steps, doo-doo, doo-doo

tiny steps, doo-doo, doo-doo

TINY STEPS

#1:. The white group was released yesterday. Dzong.

#2:. A foreigner! panic Receptionist called for help the owner of the first hostel.

#3/#4:. If these hostels are hiding somewhere, it's certainly not on any map.

#5:. Please, sir, foreigners in the rain?

#6:. No guests here, neither locals nor foreign (hostel perched atop the steepest staircase).

sunny, you say?!

screenwriters didn't do it for me, so they had to go

1- 'Epic tale of ambition, anarchy and absolute power', 12th c-ry UK, 1989.

2- 'Classic of travel literature', US countryside, 1989

3- 'Revolutionary explanation of Hindu mythology', local, 2006.

even the night clubs you crawl into

With the sunset came time for dirty work. To go and inquire at travel agencies. An action roughly equivalent to a voluntary whipping followed by a bath in a too small pool full of hungry piranhas. Strands of rain persistently overfilling local ditches and surfacing their stinky secrets atmospherically rounded up the misery. However, where there's no foreign passport, not even the hungriest piranha will bite.

the happy tourist fears no rain


crackin' yesterday's gift

As each colour of foreigners has different access privileges in the border area, they don't mix well. Unfortunately, none are compatible with Indians at all. That leaves me with no choice but to go hunt again tomorrow...

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