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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Out of touch

"No, that's not possible."

My attempt to leave my backpack until the evening at the hotel met with a shocked denial.


Half an hour later, a young waiter kicks me out of a half-empty restaurant, claiming I finished my meal and they need the space for other guests.

Thali = Dal Baht on steroids

Entrance to a park. Here they'll keep my backpack for me. Its removal exposed the camera hanging by my side. That's a prohibited article, but the guards refused to hold it. Eventually, one guard grabbed the camera in one hand, me in the other, and marched me off... to a library. There, I wrote down the model they took from me into a notebook, and only then was I allowed inside.

ready - set - run!

After being abruptly kicked out of the restaurant, I headed straight for the park restrooms. My bulky, uniformed guide followed in my footsteps. Thereby I can testify that I'm not the only one who sounds like a launching rocketship and screams like an astronaut who forgot his spacesuit when using the toilets.

we are all Buddhas

Parks in India are funny places. Two souls of the opposite gender can connect their personal spaces there. But they must not overstep the limits, or else a furious guard will come running and whistling and hit them with a bamboo stick. The limits, of course, depend solely on the person with the stick and whistle.

Harding Park

Other minor Patna misunderstandings:

  • Waiting thirty minutes for a waiter unwilling to serve a foreigner, who then pocketed a mint sent with the receipt.

  • Cashier ostentatiously scrutinizing the bill in case I was paying with a counterfeit.

  • A lad who never left Bihar (this state), but still passionately claims that Pakistanis are his blood enemies.

Patliputra Karuna Stupa

The postcard:

Mistake #1: The postcard is from Nepal - and a picture of a stamp completely confused the officials.

Mistake #2: The postcard is written in Czech - well, I wrote "Czechia" to save space, but people don't recognize the name. Not even in the Czech Republic, let alone abroad.

Mistake #3: I entered the post office through the back door. Gradually, through a line of confused officials, I made my way to the postmaster of the whole state.

He spoke English, which allowed us to clarify the first two mistakes. And he offered me tea and a cookie and gave me a quick lesson in Bihar's history.

for Brukli

Mr. Hammad Zafar and me

I arrived at the wrong bus station. It was on the completely opposite side of the city. So, I took a new Rapido: 45 minutes of travel, 15 minutes extra. I pulled a first beginner driver under the mountains in six months. Without a helmet, which is mandatory in India, I'd rip out my hair. At least now I understand why it's mandatory.

find yours!

At the Patna bus station, hundreds of buses stand and depart at any given moment. I failed to find mine, but by sheer luck, I stumbled upon it just as it was leaving the station.

Getting on, I got my balls squeezed by a guess-what-am-I LGBT person. I didn't tip.

sleeping cot for one

And that was one day in central India.

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