Zohreh Sadeghi India and Beyond

Trip from hell

I apologize to all my faithful readers for my long absence. I’ve been busy traveling, packing, unpacking, and checking yet into another hotel and so on. My past month has been just that, and I tell you I’m sick and tired of airports, train stations, hotels, restaurants, and everything else that comes with traveling. I’d kill for a homemade meal and a place I could call “home” for longer than a week. I will now try to demonstrate my journey in this past month for you all.

After I left Goa I went back to Kerala, specifically Kannur because I couldn’t think of a better place to call “home”. I needed the familiarity even if it was for a short period of time. I checked into a hotel that was very close to my old apartment, my lovely apartment with my lovely Marta, oh how I miss those days. Anyhow everyone at the hotel already knew me, everyone on the street knew me so it was nice to be somewhere where I was recognized even for a few days. My plan was just to spend a few days to plan my next move until I fell sick and had to spend 2 days in bed unable to move. So my few days turned into almost a week. I think it was partly due to the awful journey we had from Goa to Kerala. Our train tickets weren’t confirmed, Marta and her boyfriend Emanuel also came with me since they had to catch a flight back to Italy in Calicut (Closest airport to Kannur), so we booked the ticket online and were put on waitlist. This had happened to Marta before and she assured me we’d have no trouble getting on the train. Well I wish that was true.

We did get on the train at 9:30 PM, a full train, we walked back and forth on the train with all of our extremely heavy luggage and there wasn’t a single seat in the AC compartment. We found ourselves in front of the toilet in the hallway arguing with the guy in charge, basically begging him for seats. He wasn’t having it, he told us that the train was full and that we had to pay a fine because we got on the train without confirmed tickets. I mean he had a point, we had paid for the tickets but in bold letters on the print out it said that our tickets were just waitlisted and we had to confirm them on the day of the journey. Long story short, we sat on top of our luggage for an hour in front of the stinking toilet until we got to the next station, we got down and proceeded to find another train. We bought tickets for the general compartment since those are the only last minute tickets you can buy at the counter, for AC tickets you must reserve and purchase in advance since they fill up fast. And the general compartment on Indian trains is no place for me, have you watched Borat? Remember when he arrives in NYC, gets on the Metro and all of a sudden releases a live chicken from his suitcase? Well imagine 60 Borats doing exactly that on the train. That’s the best description I can give of Indian train’s general compartment. We got on the train and the begging began for finding seats in the AC section, the dude in charge was nicer this time, he said we’d only have to sit on top of our luggage in the hallway for 2 hours and then we’ll have seats but not in the AC section but the sleeper non-AC, my nightmare, the 3 beds stacked on top of each other resembling a prison cell. But we had no choice; we paid the extra and decided to wait. We found some empty seats and the minute we sat down, all of us fell asleep since we were so exhausted only to be waken up 30 minutes later but a mean lady yelling “get up, get out, these are our seats”. We jumped up, and at this point it was already 1 AM. We once again found ourselves in the hallway. We finally had confirmed seats after an hour. We didn’t sit at this point, we passed out. I was lucky I woke up exactly 10 minutes before reaching my station. Kannur was before Calicut so I had to say bye to Marta at 5 AM. Water works begun on the train, it was so difficult, my exhausted body was in pain and now my heart was aching. I said bye to my lovely Italian, to the woman who had become my sister, companion, partner, and everything in only 3 months. That journey was a nightmare in every aspect, one I’d like to forget soon.

I took an auto rickshaw and checked into a hotel and slept for 2 days straight especially cause I got sick and was miserable. Here’s the thing about getting sick while you’re on your own, you have nobody to take care of you and that truly sucks. I had no energy to get out of bed but I knew I had to do something, so by day 3 I dragged my half dead body to the market where I got some lemons, ginger, and honey and I put myself on lemon ginger tea with honey diet for a few days after that. I’d only call room service to order a thermos of hot water. I refuse to take Allopathic medicine now (unless it’s an absolute emergency); if Ayurveda taught me one thing was to cure myself with correcting my diet, resting and taking natural remedies. The pain in my throat was so strong though that I decided to buy some Ayurvedic medicine for the throat while I was out, it was extremely effective. But since staying inside and doing nothing is against my nature, after 3 days in bed I finally got up in the morning and decided to roam the town and do something with my bored self. It was hot in Kannur, and I walked from 11 AM to 6 PM, all around the city, shopping. Shopping not for myself but for my family. I had decided to make myself busy with a project, and my project was to prepare a box to send back home to my mom, sister, and brother. That became my mission, and I bought lots of wonderful Ayurvedic products, some nice Indian cotton clothes, and lots of other little things. But around 6 PM, the heat finally got to me and I was so fatigued that I had to rush back to the hotel to once again pass out on the bed.

That’s basically how I spent my days in Kannur, preparing the box and drinking lemon ginger tea with honey. My next plan was to meet one of my best friends in Nepal. How we decided on Nepal is another story, well not a long one at all, truth is she really wanted to come and see me in India but it would take at least one week to get the visa and she didn’t have that luxury since she had taken the last week of May off and when we were making this plan it was already May 18th. So we proceeded to check counties around this region that didn’t require visa for Canadian citizens since she has a Canadian passport. And Nepal seemed promising; you could just get a visa on arrival. And what better place to go than Nepal? It’s in the Himalayans with a cooler climate and lots to do from shopping, visiting temples to trekking and rafting.

Nepal was planned in less than a day and we booked our tickets and our hotel. It was totally a last minute spontaneous decision that gave me something amazing to look forward to, seeing my beautiful friend after such a long time. I booked my train ticket to Calicut and left Kannur on Saturday May 21st, spend a night in Calicut and then flew to Kathmandu on Monday, May 23rd.

(Nepal story and more to come in the next post)

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