Himalaya Mountains in Nepal

Trekking in Nepal: A Hellacious Journey to a Heavenly Destination

Sitting in the airplane heading back to Delhi, flying high above the jagged snow topped peaks of the Himalaya Mountains, I realized I already missed Nepal. The five days had gone by entirely too fast. The beauty, culture and adventure had left a lasting impression on me and I was already thinking about the possibility of a return trip.

 

A couple of important things to note. Indians do not need a passport or visa to visit Nepal but they need a voter’s ID card and one other piece of ID. Also, if you are wondering if Nepal has recovered from the 2015 earthquake, the answer is both yes and no. There are obviously many buildings that were completely destroyed and still need to be dealt with, but not enough that it interfered with our trip in any way.

Kathmandu

We arrived in Kathmandu late on Friday afternoon and wasted no time investigating all the cool places within walking distance to our guest house. Sporting goods stores specializing in trekking gear are everywhere, and their prices were incredible! Kirti needed some hiking boots for our three-day trek and we were pleasantly surprised to find a pair to fit his large feet. There were also tons of great Napalese handicrafts. We had a particularly good time in a knife store admiring all the intricate kukri knives. They had a range of sizes, from pocket knives to huge swords. Each one was handmade and we were so impressed that I bought one for my own collection. It has a jeweled sheath and is absolutely stunning!

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The Ganga River

7 More Things That I Like About India

 

I realize I’m guilty of bitching about things over here so it’s high time I share some more things with you that I appreciate about India. There are many special things that I like about India, and here are my top seven.

Love

I know it’s corny, but I love my boyfriend, Kirti, very much. I never expected to find love in India. The best I hoped for was maybe a companion and a little fun. But four months into our relationship we are very much in love, in spite of significant cultural differences. He is adventurous, funny, smart, and compassionate.  Kirti has made a huge difference in my life and has made my adjustment to life in India much easier. I am thankful for him every day! I guess you never know when and where love might strike, so keep an open mind.

Road trips

There are so many cool places to visit over here!  From mountains to beaches to ancient forts and spectacular temples, it is all incredible!!  Plus it is very close to so many other countries that there are endless possibilities for vacations and it’s hard to narrow it down. Soon I hope to visit Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, maybe even Africa. 

View from my apartment in India

Living and Working in India: The Hassle Factor

After living and working in India for 6 months now, I can tell you that much of the time I feel like everything is just a big hassle here. Getting things accomplished in India requires a lot of patience, and those that know me best, know that is not one of my best traits.  Nothing, even the simplest things, are ever easy!  Here are some of many examples.

Buying data for for corporate use

We opened a corporate account with a local telecom carrier so that we could more easily make changes to our plans.  This would give us the option for “post paid”, versus pre paid, meaning they would bill us for our data usage instead of having to pay up front. Initially they asked for about 10 documents, such as articles of incorporation, a letter of explanation on company letterhead, copy of the directors passport, etc.  Each page of every document had to be stamped and signed.  After jumping through all these hoops we finally successfully opened an account. A few days later I went into the store to make some changes to our data plans only to find out that I have to provide originals of all those documents EVERY time we want to make any changes.

People bathing in a mud puddle in India

A Very Bad Day in India

We all have bad days. They are just part of life. I recently experienced one in India, and the circumstances, for the most part, were unique to India. It all started when I was on a conference call. I work odd hours over here because of the 12.5 hour time difference. This was an 7:00 AM conference call and I was already in a bad mood because I had to skip my work out. Keep in mind that I connect to my conference calls through the Internet. The electricity suddenly went out which disconnected me front the call, and I was the facilitator!  The electricity goes off all the time here due to over population and unregulated electrical work. I never was able to reconnect to the call because the back up generators didn’t kick on for some reason.

 

Electrical blackouts

I finished getting ready the best I could without electricity. That meant no hot shower, no coffee and no curling my hair. Plus there was no air conditioning, which meant it was soon about 85 degrees in my apartment! By the time I left for work I was covered in sweat and in a very foul mood.

My apartment complex in Gurgaon, India

The Process of Renting a Full Service Apartment in India

I’ve been staying at the Courtyard Marriott for the last 4 months and as much as I love that hotel and their wonderful staff, it was time to get my own place. I missed cooking, having the ability to entertain and I needed more space, so I decided to look at furnished apartments. I was pleasantly surprised to find some lovely apartment, nicely furnished, in a safe and self-contained community. So after filling out a long contract and providing all the necessary paperwork, I spent the weekend moving into my apartment in a beautiful complex called Palm Springs!

Things to know

Here are some interesting facts. The smallest one I could find is 3 bedrooms and they go up to 6 bedrooms. Mine also has 3 1/2 baths plus a maids quarters. Each bedroom has its own washroom, like a master suite in the states.The maids washroom is outside by the washing machine.The service staff even have their own elevator! They don’t have clothes dryers here and instead provided me with a clothes rack, so I guess all the neighbors will get to look at my delicates out drying in the hot sun.

Getting my hair done in India

My Crazy Hair Salon Experience in India

First of all, my apologies to my wonderful hair stylist back home in the states!  Unfortunately it had been way too long since I got my hair colored, cut and styled and I knew I had to do something about it. So I visited a few salons and decided on one owned by a young hip looking Asian fellow just a couple blocks away from our hotel. He wears his blond hair in a man bun and looks pretty progressive, so I decided to give him a try.

My appointment was at 10:00 and I arrived 5 minutes early to find him and his staff outside smoking. Most people smoke here. Since the smog is so bad I think they figure there’s nothing to lose. Obviously he and his staff were on “Indian time.”  Everyone is consistently late here for everything. He finished his cigarette and then unlocked the front door and asked me to take a seat.

 

The first thing I noticed was that he had 8 guys (all very young) working in about a 300 square foot space. One started sweeping, one started looking through my hair, one brought me bottled water and the rest stood there and stared at me. The owner brought me a book of hair colors and I pointed to the one I wanted. Then Ramm (the guy touching my hair) asked me to sit in one of the stylist chairs. I could feel myself sweating already as the tension took over. I mean it’s my hair!!! What if they screwed it up!?