Dopo alcuni giorni trascorsi a visitare la maggior parte dei templi buddisti e induisti nelle vicinanze di Kathmandu, stamattina mi sono presentato per la seconda volta in ambasciata indiana per proseguire la richiesta del visto. Una settimana fa esatta ho effettuato la prima richiesta in cui si consegna un form compilato e paghi circa 3 euro, dopo di ciò ti invitano a ripresentarti tra una settimana.
After a few days spent visiting most of the Buddhist and Hindu temples around Kathmandu, this morning I went for the second time to the Indian Embassy for my visa. A week before, I had started the procedure, filling in a form and paying about €3 before being told to come back in a week.
So there I was at the Embassy at 8 in the morning to get my number for the queue, and even though the office opens at 9.30 there were already about thirty people queueing up. I met various people I already knew, including Rodney, a 64-year-old American freak who looks like Father Christmas with a sailor’s hat and a really funny, friendly face. An hour later along came Amjad, a German Turk I had met at the Shanti Jatra Organic Festival. He had lived and meditated in a monastery near Kathmandu for a month. I also got to know an Italian couple who had been travelling around the world for a year on a round-the-world ticket and who managed, luckily for me, to take me with them into the office when they were finally admitted after a three-hour wait. I handed in my filled-out form with a photo, paid another €30 and was told to come back at 17.00.
In the meantime, I went back to my guesthouse as I was going to be interviewed about my journey on Skype by Claudio Vigolo of Radio Lifegate. This should be broadcast on Friday at 18.30 - don’t miss it!
Then back to the Embassy. Another hour’s wait and it was finally my turn, but when I showed my receipt to the officer he said I had to wait a bit longer. This worried me and I noticed I wasn’t the only one when I saw Rodney’s expression, but a few minutes later the last passports arrived, including mine with another wonderful new stamp in it! When you are a traveller, getting your entry visa to a new country is a moment of joy, it’s like a tattoo that will remain impressed in your mind forever. For five years I have dreamed of going to India, thanks to Shantaram, a book that changed my life.
I then sorted out my backpack, got rid of the now-unneccesary heavy clothing and went out for my last Everest (Nepalese beer) before leaving at six the next morning with the cheapest and most adventurous bus I could find. Danjabaad Nepal (Thanks Nepal).