What an interesting last few days Lisa and I had. Let’s start things off with getting to the Kathmandu airport. A bumpy seven hour bus ride left my back and neck in moderate soreness, but no matter…we were so excited about our upcoming flight to Delhi that the past was behind us. We had visions of standing before the Taj Mahal, admiring its world wondrous beauty, or getting lost in the enchanting streets of Varanasi. All these apparitions came to a stuttering halt when we reached the ticket counter to find that we were not going to be getting on the plane. To my strange disappointment, Indian visas are not available to most tourists on arrival in India. We left in utter discontent, but encouraged that we could surely get an Indian visa within a few days at worst. We spent the night in Kathmandu’s touristy Thamel district, kicking back with a few adult beverages to ease our displeasure.
The next morning, we hired a cab to the Indian embassy, arriving just after seven in the morning, only to find that they don’t start their process until 9:30. But no matter we said, and sat at a lovely little diner for a sub-standard breakfast platter. We even started a nice game of Rummy 500 to kill time as local Nepali’s looked on in confusion at our card game. After the embassy gates opened we filed in for a nice little hour and a half wait…actually much shorter than I expected. We finally get to the counter to realize that our visas would be taking a minimum of 5 days, much too long for us to wait, so we decided to cut our losses, skip India, and try to think of something else we could do. Lisa found something cool….5 hours later; she had a big henna tattoo on her foot, done in traditional bamboo style…pretty awesome! I, on the other hand, waited around aimlessly, drinking a beer here and there to pass time while chatting on and off with an….“interesting” middle aged women that worked at the tattoo parlor. Throughout the day, we had other plans and ideas for what we could do to fill the void of our disappointment. Every one, however, was systematically destroyed by some strange occurrence or stroke of bad luck. We hopped on another seven hour bus ride this morning back to Pokhara, feeling borderline dejected by our misfortune. But one more slap in the face; I got off the bus to find that I must likely left my mobile track phone at one of the rest stops along the way back to Pokhara. I’ll be getting another cheap replacement tomorrow, but still..a pain in the butt.
The last three days could be taken for an awful waste of my time and money, but I am going to chose to take a different approach. Quite honestly, looking back on things, or any other time in my life when I was disappointed or let down, I can come to a very obvious and simple conclusion: My problems are so extremely insignificant. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have “real” problems. While I was down in the dumps about not getting to go to India for a couple days, there were an uncountable number of people actually in India whose problems were incomparable to mine. During the time I was drinking a beer mad at the 60 bucks I lost from my flight ticket cancellation fee, mothers and fathers lost their children from simple illnesses that are easily curable had they had excess to routine healthcare or basic medications. While I was having a spaghetti dinner instead of tasting an authentic India dish like I wanted, real people were there begging for a scrap of food that some people elsewhere in the world might hesitate to feed their dog.
My “problems” are minor annoyances that wouldn’t even register on a scale of some of the real problems people are facing all over the world. Moving forward, I need to try to keep this in greater perspective. I live a life full of opportunity and good fortune and if I keep that in mind more often, “problems” in my life will seem fewer and further between. Perspective; how people perceive and view the occurrences in the own life in relation to the world around them, in my humble opinion, is one of the largest keys to unlock real happiness, where ever that happiness may lie. To find my own magic key, maybe I should take my own advice more often.