There are few things I find too difficult about travelling. A few years of living and working abroad have given me the confidence to handle pretty much anything, and even enjoy most of them. Last night’s experience definitely comes under the category of things I can’t handle.
Helena and I talked about the plan for the next couple of months enough that we felt that it was the right thing to do, something that will make us both feel happy with what we’ve done with our time, allow Helena to finish her thesis as well as possible and leave us ready to move on with our lives and find somewhere to settle down together when we’re done. But for me, saying goodbye at the airport was the single most painful experience of all my time travelling so far. It left me weeping like a baby in amongst the touts in the heat a 2am, and things have only changed a little since.
At this point I’m really not sure if I’m going to make it through two months apart. The positive, of course, is that I can give it a few days, and if I can’t handle things than it’s easy enough to grab a flight at a few days notice and head on back to Ireland. It’s a decision I’ll have to take before leaving Kathmandu to head north, at the very latest, as after that I’m pretty much tied in until I reach the other end. I can’t imagine things getting any more difficult then I’m finding them now, so we’ll see how it goes.
The trip back to Delhi from Mussoorie was surprisingly pain free, especially considering we did it entirely on the public buses, which at first glance seem to be better than the more expensive private ones. About 10 hours worth of bumpy roads and dodgy driving before we arrived in the capital and found ourselves the nicest hotel we could afford to enjoy our last couple of nights together in. With full air conditioning, satellite TV, and (as I found out whilst lying awake last night) a resident mouse, it was extremely tempting not to leave the hotel and brave the streets of one of the worst cities I’ve ever visited at all. Whatever choice I make, it’s good to know that I’ll probably not set foot in Delhi again this trip!
We did make it out, anyway, a couple of times. I wanted to treat Helena to something nice on the last day, and all we could find worth splashing out on was a beauty parlour. She had a manicure, pedicure and facial, the benefits of which were obliterated by the heat and dirt of Delhi within about a minute of walking out of the parlour door, but she seemed to enjoy it.
We went for a nice last meal as well, in a rooftop restaurant before our early morning, short (for our own sanity) but very painful goodbye.
I killed a day in Delhi trying to make up for a sleepless night the night before, and as I type this I’m lying in my sleeper bed on an overnight train to Calcutta (or Kolkata, whatever name the local government are favouring right now!),
And yes, I am miserable as sin, but I know there’s always the easy flight to Ireland way out, and if I don’t start to feel better I’ll seriously think about taking it. So don’t worry!