Leaving Pelling without a peek at the peak. (photos added)
Sikkim Travel Blog› entry 93 of 251 › view all entries
June 4th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Today I got up once again at dawn and peeked hopefully out the window. Nope. Still fogged in. Damn.
So we left Pelling today without even seeing our (reportedly) gorgeous surroundings. Whatâ€™s frustrating is that we know those mountains are just over there, looking all big and majesticâ€¦
We have five more days in Sikkim, so we think we will have some luck eventually. But as we got in the car today Steve said, â€śWhat a tragedy if we were to endure all this and not even see the mountain!â€ť
By â€śendure all thisâ€ť he meant the unclean hotels, no Internet, difficult accents, greasy food three times a day and hours of driving on crazy roads.
Example 1: Steve and I enter the restaurant and head to our â€śregularâ€ť table. The waiter rushes to pull Steveâ€™s chair out for him. I am left to seat myself.
Example 2: The waiter asks Steve what he would like to drink. Steve says, Coffee please. The waiter walks off and I call after him, Oh, and Iâ€™d like tea, please!
Example 3: We are sitting at the table, both with empty bread plates. The waiter arrives with steaming basket of chappata.
Example 4: We approach the front desk and I make an inquiry to the clerk. The clerk directs his response to Steve.
In their defense, there were some cases, i.e. the tea situation, the waiters did figure out that Iâ€™d be ordering for myself and after a couple times started confirming directly with me. But geez! I have never experienced anything like it! I am the invisible woman here. I really donâ€™t understand anything about this culture.
So, on to our car ride: we rode with the same guy, who I call Doofus.
We arrived at Nor-Khill, another Elgin hotel, with high expectations. It is a former â€śroyal guesthouse,â€ť and Fodorâ€™s has given this place a Fodorâ€™s Choice star. I almost always agree with Fodorâ€™s choices. Mostly I was looking forward to the Western food they reportedly serve in their restaurantâ€¦
The lobby was highly decorated and very fancy. I spoke with the man behind the desk -- who was wearing a very spiffy suit -- and he did not ignore me or address his responses to Steve across the room. Thereâ€™s a good sign!
It was 2:30pm and we were just in time to catch lunch. We saw the silver buffet dishes and quickly realizedâ€¦ itâ€™s same food here as the other places. Ugh. Enough already. And where is this â€śWestern fareâ€ť weâ€™ve been promised?! We ate our damn Indian food and went to our room.
Our room is a good size, with ornate furniture placed kind of haphazardly around the perimeter. It seems cleaner overall, but the bathroom is not nice at all. No Internet in the room, but there is a Business Center where we can use their really old computer (Steve tried to hook up my computer to their Internet but it wouldnâ€™t work). I used Steveâ€™s Blackberry to transfer photos and blog entries to their computer, and then spent hours trying to upload the photos. I finally gave upâ€¦ I will just have to do it later.
At dinner, I created a bit of an International Incident when I asked if it was possible to order some different food. Maybe an egg sandwich or some vegetables that arenâ€™t fried to death? The waiter tried to talk me into the Indian buffet, and then another guy joined the mix as they tried to figure out what I was saying.
Now that things are going our way :^), I am sure the fog will lift and we will see those Himalayas TOMORROW!
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