I've tried. I really have, but... Dharamsala just isn't doing it for me. It's a pretty enough town... with beautiful mountain views. But it just isn't touching my heart.
I think it's just that tibetian culture doesn't really do much for me. I feel so much more at home amongst Indians.
Dharmasla is also a very very touristy place. There are posters stuck all over the place advertising reiki/yoga/cooking/massage/medtiation classes. I even saw some alcoholics anonymous posters around town.
There are friendly reminders from the Tibetian Anti-Cruelty Committee telling you that eating meat is wrong, and from another committee telling you to have safe sex. It really does feel like a college campus in a way.
But, for whatever reason, I'm just not digging it here. The Indians who are here are mostly Kashmiri, who i really really hate dealing with. They're like used-car salesmen who've decided to become washington lobbyists - corrupt and willing to sell you their grandmother if it'll make them a buck.
And so. I'm off.
I'll be heading towards the Parvati valley tomorrow, on a 6:30AM bus. I don't really have any choices, it's either this, or a government (no frills) bus at 10PM. And there is just no way I can deal with a government night bus - it'll kill me.
I woke up this morning with an awful cough. I blame the cold mountain air, and the back-to-back 2 bus night trips a few days back. In any case, it's even more reason not to take another night bus... So, i'm back on the antibiotics and the cough medicine.
The area i'm going to is the center of India's marijuana growing industry. As my lonely planet reports, a number of foreigners have gone missing over the past few years when trekking alone in the hills - and so, for sure, I will keep my wits with me.
It's low season now, but in a few months, this part of the country will be flooded with low-budget Israelis smoking themselves into a stupor - so I'm even more excited about explorng it before they arrive. I'm sure I'll have a few words to stay about drug tourism in a week or so.
For anyone who is worried - I'm about 6 hours from Jammu and Kashmir (I think). Even without the anti-danish prostests going on there, I wouldn't be going there... For some reason, I feel the need to spell it out here anyway. I am not going to Kashmir.
Inshalla, I'll wake up for my 6:30AM bus tomorrow, or I'll be spending another night here.