Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Kathmandu part 4

Ok, I realise that I have left you all hanging for the 4th part of the story, and this is mainly because I have been trekking in the Himalayas. That post is still to come, but for now I will finish the Kathmandu part...

So I just came out of the airport, only to find that the taxi driver that had lent me the money for my visa was missing...

Of course another taxi driver grabbed me pretty much sraight away and stated pulling me towards his taxi.

I tried in vain to tell him that I had a taxi driver already, but he fobbed off my objections saying "My friend, he lent you money? It is ok, he told me to take you.."

I didn't see much of an alternative here either, so I follow this guy to another taxi, where he gives me to ANOTHER guy and explains that I owe 2000 Rupees (it was actually 3500) and that I can give it to this guy, it is ok...

Well, this guy takes me to a hotel, that is different to the one that the first guy wanted to take me to, and I get my room and everything seems to settle down for a while.

Having my tea later that evening I am approached by some guy who claims to be a travel agent (actually, he was a travel agent) and offers me various trekking offers, I decline them all, but agree to go with him to his office the next day. In the course of this conversation he mentions that the 3500 Rupees that I owe can also be paid to him (what kind of weird syndicate do they operate in Kathmandu anyway?).

I still have no money, so it is immaterial, and he soon leaves me alone. Shortly after this the second taxi driver appears, and offers to walk me to an ATM, where I can finally get some Rupees and pay SOMEONE back what I owe. This mission is accomplished reasonably easily, but instead of then taking me back to the hotel, he takes me down a small alley, where he says his friend can lend him a bike....

Thus begins a very short, a very hair raising, and an awakening experience of riding pillion through the streets of Kathmandu... If you read my post about Egyptian driving a few months ago ( http://trevssalsatravels.blogspot.com/2008/08/egypt-is-also-crazy.html ), well, the driving in Kathmandu is similar... slightly less manic, but on roads which are at the most one lane wide. It was surprisingly fun....

We eventually made it back to the hotel, where my new friend (who i haven't seen since) bade me goodnight, and I went to bed.

The next morning, true to his word, the travel agent took me to his offices. We walked there, a 10 minute walk. Who should appear in the crowds of Tamel but the original taxi driver, the one that lent me the cash in the first place for my visa.

He seemed to be a mix of shocked and delighted to see me. At any rate he rushed over and started asking me where had I got to, did I have his money, what hotel I was staying at, etc, etc... Between myself and the travel agent we calmed him down, I explained that I had paid back the cash to another taxi driver (this was, he claimed, the first he had heard of this). This wasn't helped by the fact that I couldn't give a name, or any contact details for this other driver....

He insisted on coming for breakfast with myself and my travel agent, where he had only a beer. And then left us....

This was pretty much the last I saw of this guy, except that he came to my hotel later that evening and sat with me for a while. But he left pretty much straight away when it was apparent that I was with someone else...

This was pretty much the end of my adventures in Kathmandu... A couple of days later I left to go Trekking (which I purchased off the aforementioned travel agent)... but that is another story...

2 comments:

Missy J said...

i thought i'd say this to anyone but you, but u are shockingly ignorant when it comes to giving strangers ur money..........or just shockingly trustful of strangers lol!!!!!
why in the hell would u even believe strangers that tell u u can give them this money u borrowed from some other guy lol....and better yet never getting a name in the end lol.......wtf man!!! lolllll
pardon me, i jst get pissed off by people getting ripped off...or being awfully stupid :P

tbone said...

I didn't get ripped off...

But yea, 10 out of 10 for brain-deadness...