Reaching the mountains

What a promising word: Himalayas. I had to suffer a night in an unheated bus over bumpy roads to be able to see them. Even my trick – to reserve me two seats so I could lay down in my sleeping bag in the bus – didn’t work out because the seats were too small to fit the length of my upper body in.

After a hundred times of dozing off and jumping awake again at the next pothole, I reached the snowcapped mountains. Other than I thought Dharamsala is actually not in the mountain range, but merely at the first mountainside. So it wasn’t as stunning and breathtaking and spectacular as I thought it would be.

view from my balcony at the Pema Thang Guesthouse

view from my balcony at the Pema Thang Guesthouse

Plus: The town is as filthy as all Indian towns I have seen so far are. With people living in shacks, chaos on the roads, beggars, street dogs. This was especially difficult as I had images of lovely mountain villages in Austria and Switzerland in my mind, with wooden huts and pointed roofs – because these are the mountain dwellings I grew up with.

A pack of street dogs especially astonished me. They seemed to be racists. When foreigners or tibetan people walked pass them, they didn’t care. But darker skinned Indian people they would bark at and chase down the road.

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