Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 7 of 17 › view all entries
We ride inside the minibus up to the police checkpoint, and all the time I'm saying to the conducter - "After the checkpoint we can go on the roof, yes? Yes yes yes?" Yes yes yes he tells me. Then we pass the checkpoint and suddenly it's no no no. "Not allowed."
"Look," I tell him, "I've done this journey before. I always ride on the roof. And you said we could. Don't tell me it's not allowed."
I am claustrophobic, and have some pretty major issues with authority, so within five minutes I am being an absolute bitch.
"I've paid 350 rupees for this fucking bus," I shout at him, "and I will ride where I fucking want. Don't piss me off."
I am aware as I say it that I sound like a fucking idiot, but I always get tense in small spaces and I just can't help myself. So I lean forward, tap the driver on the shoulder, and yell "STOP THE BUS!!!" The bus stops but the door is locked and I can't open it. I struggle with it for a minute and all the Nepalis on the bus are laughing at me, which just winds me up even more. So I climb out the window, pull myself onto the roof, and finally breathe a sigh of relief. Alison scrambles up after me, still laughing at the situation.
"Shit," I say, "I was a total bitch, wasn't I?"
"Yeah, but no worries. It's gotta be better than sitting in there for 6 hours."
One minute later, a young Nepali guy is climbing out of the window as well. It seems we've started a trend. He asks where we're from and we tell him England.
"Oh," he says, "we thought you were Israelis."
Shit. I didn't realise we were that rude.
We get into Pokhara about 9, still on the roof, and our new Nepali friend finds us a taxi to Hotel Supriya. It's a true pimpmobile, with blue lit interior and posters of Avril Lavigne all over it. (Why? Just why?) Then we go for dinner and make the terrible mistake of ordering Mexican food - just out of morbid curiousity really. It is very strange. Very very strange. So strange it trips me out. We spend the next half hour trying to decide whether we liked it or not. We don't know. We just don't know. We can't help but wonder if we've been spiked with some bizarre Mexican cactus or something, because we are incapable of making any sense for the rest of the night. We walk to Busy Bee, laughing uncontrollably, and for some reason being followed by what I decide must be a small electronic elf, as every time we stop laughing, all we can here is a tiny, high-pitched bleeping noise playing "Jingle Bells" on continuous repeat. Then Alison starts to hallucinate French people, and goes round Busy Bee inquiring of total strangers whether they are French or not until we decide the whole pub thing is just too trippy to handle and go back to hide in our hotel, still trying to work out whether the Mexican food was nice or not.
From Thamel-syndrome, I am now suffering from Thamel-withdrawal. Where are the people? Where is the nightlife? And most importantly, where is the madness? In Thamel, everyone was so whacked I was pretty normal by comparison. Here I get funny looks every time I walk down the street. I'm not quite sure how to deal with it.
We meet Ste back at Supriya and he tells us about the nice people he met in a jewellery shop who took him back to their house and want to give him 7000 pounds to take jewellery back to England... I flip the fuck out. Not these fucking jewellery scam arseholes again. Not here. Not fucking over my friends the way they tried to fuck over me. I am so angry I can barely speak, and spend the rest of the night lying in bed, not sleeping, wondering if it's the same people who tried to get me, and plotting bizarre plans for revenge. I don't get to sleep til after sunrise.
The next day we run into Marco in the Green Leaf Cafe. I am so relieved to see him - at least there's a few freaks left in Pokhara. Plus I've missed the heavenly charas. We agree to meet him and Jan and Eden for dinner at 7. Until then I do nothing all day. Nothing at all. The stillness, the "Silent Park"-ness of Pokhara is tripping me out and I escape into the virtual reality of books and the internet. I do check out the jewellery shop that tried to rob Ste though, and as far as I can tell it's not the same people that I met in Thamel. I don't know if I'm relieved or not. I am in a way, but on the other hand... I kinda still want to give them a piece of my mind.
At 7 we head to Hotel Mandala, and find a sign on Marco's door saying "On the roof". So we go up, and emerge into a cloud of smoke and psytrance. I am delighted, but Alison is strangely quiet. I ask her why, but all she will tell me is "weird vibes". I gather she means Marco. I watch him more closely from then on, until I begin to see what she means. Marco's not a bad guy, but he has one problem - in his head he is still 20 years old. This is part of why I like him, why he can be so fun to be around, but he doesn't seem to realise that he is double our age, and he can't act with us the way guys our age can. His intentions aren't bad but there's a line of appropriate-ness he is always just on the verge of crossing, and he can come across as a little creepy. So, although I enjoy the meal with him and Jan and Eden, we turn down his offer of MD and partying on the roof in the night. As Alison says - "it's Marco who taught us to believe in energy - and here the energy is all wrong." So we claim tiredness and go back to Supriya early.
Weird vibes, weird vibes. All I seem to be getting from Pokhara this time around is weird vibes. The only logical thing to do seems to be to make them even weirder. So I end up spending the evening sitting in the bedroom of the future-cop, cooking up pharmaceutical ketamine (Charlie's present to me on leaving Thamel - "you'll need it to cope with the boredom of Pokhara" he tells me) in a small metal dish over a candle. Then me and Alison go back to our room and I send myself surfing into another dimension. It is five months since I've taken ketamine, so it doesn't take a lot.
I lie on the bed with my arms and legs in the air. Each limb controls a corner of the room, and by moving them I can move the walls, changing the shape of the room. Assuming there are four walls that is.
"Alison," I ask, "how many walls are there?"
"Four" she tells me.
I am satisfied and go back to moving them, until doubt assails me again.
"Alison," I ask, "how many walls?"
"Are you sure?"
This is about the last I can remember, except that there are many people in the room that night, and an eye in the ceiling, and Alison has way more eyes and noses and mouths and eyebrows than usual, and all the time I'm asking, over and over -
"Alison, how many walls???"
Once again, I'm not asleep until nearly sunrise.