Darjeeling Update (June 6)

 

This morning my complimentary guide Bipen and I trekked to a Buddhist monastery. We took the long way through the mountains.

I soooo should have brought my hiking boots instead of my floppy, treadless sandals. Great for walking in Hyderabad, not so great for trekking the Himalayas during monsoon season. I almost slid to my death.

I managed to comfort myself for the rest of the journey with the happy thought that my guide, as a professional, must have some sort of contingency plan for daft Americans wearing inappropriate footwear. And possibly also some rope in his pocket.

Speaking of inappropriate footwear, there are a ton of domestic tourists here wearing high-heeledshoes. How these women are negotiating hills and steep stone steps in five inch rhinestone thong sandals is entirely beyond me.

Even in moderately sensible footwear, every step outside my hotel is a flirtation with death. Darjeeling’s tiny steps were clearly not designed with the American physique in mind.

Nor are ladies’ undergarments, from what I can tell from the limited selection at the local market. Not only was it mortifying to select a pair that would cover my expansive Western bottom, I’m sure I paid about 3x their actual price. The old biddy selling them knew she had me at a disadvantage.

In other unmentionable news, buying maxi pads was another adventure. Now, I don’t know if they only sell maxi pads, but I didn’t see them behind the counter, and didn’t dare try to explain “tampon” through hand gestures to the male pharmacy attendant. Something like that could start a war.

On the plus side, the pads I bought are so utterly enormous that, should I fall off a mountain while trekking they will undoubtedly break my fall.


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I'm a smart, sassy, globally-mobile freelance writer, content creator, brand journalist and nonprofit storyteller. The world is my office. Email me to find out more.
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