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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Oceans of uncertainty

"Are you staying today?"

Vidanth needs but a second to read my tired look.

The plans have changed; welcome to my world. They'll probably change three more times before the weekend's end.

But for now, I let the bus ride off without me.

underground friends

The volunteer lady has called around midnight; I kind of expected as much, when at half past four she told me to give her half an hour. Maths checks out.

I've been told that while the harvest is over, there still will be use of helping hands in processing the produce and that starts on Monday. I tentatively agreed to meet a representative in Leh today.

stamps lady had no change, so she gave me more stamps...

byriani (glorified risotto) for a quick lunch

It's kinda-sorta good that I didn't leave as it turned out that I'm asking for a travel permit beyond my visa expiry date. Apparently, that is an issue even though I have a standing extension application. Come pay us again, when you get it, I was told. But since the permit is only checked on entrance and even then only sometimes... I'm paying my due and that seems to be an issue.

3 angles of the castle

...2. this is the monastery.

"But of course you have to pay!"

Cafe where I'm meeting the volunteering coordinator.

"They are such poor farmers! You couldn't possibly presume to eat the spinach from their garden, while working for them!"

I detest these pay-us-to-work-here schemes which go against any good taste and generally only the British agree to them, because they're too polite to object. (Sorry guys ^^)

Seriously, this hasn't been chic since the time of Tom Sawyer.

management hard at work

Went up to Shanti stupa to clear my head. The views are good - somehow it's much more popular sunset spot than the castle, despite being on the wrong side of the valley. Might have something to do with the incorrect Google hours closing the castle hours before sunset. Or with the fact that the clerks obviously pocket the entrance fees. Shanti, on the other hand, only has cashiers by the road - if you walk up on the staircase from the valley, you've earned yourself a free entry. What a brilliant idea.

Indian visa web is full of spam, ads and the occasional 404

With the political upheaval in Pakistan, it's apparently complicated to get a hold of an attorney who'd stamp a piece of paper. I've gone through half a dozen friends, each either turning me down or failing to understand, what I need. Language barrier struggle. I'm on the final one - and time is nigh, with my Indian visa going in 10 days.

Which is why I'm applying for the extension - but since I'm saying I want to exit via Pakistan it's quite possible that I'll be asked for the Pakistani visa - which I don't have yet. (I'd have to show them a flight ticket out otherwise.)

all the peaks I've climbed

And time is ticking, and instead of doing anything meaningful I'm stuck in Leh...

And the bus to the mountains isn't running tomorrow...

And plans change by the hour...

Shanti Stupa sunset

It's not a very good weekend.

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