So after our first evening spent freezing and suffering from paranoid delusions brought on by PTSD from Delhi, we scared the shit outta Ryan at the Internet cafe to the point where he called the embassy. We then met with Bashir and Remy about the issues we were having and not to get too bogged down in the details they assuaged our fears we set off on a tour of Srinagar.
The main problem was that it was cold and rainy so touring the Mougal gardens wasn’t going to happen, especially after a sleepless night of increasing levels of paranoid freaking out and freezing our asses off. Kris was still getting over the cold that she left the states with and I am just not good at handling cold wet weather unless I’m being really active. Plus we hadn’t got much sleep and were exhausted.
So they rearranged our schedule of activities to cope and instead we went to a weaving cooperative where we learned how they make Kashmir rugs, which they then tried to sell us. We saw some beautiful scarves in pashmina and silk but they were super expensive. Anyhow after our tour of the cooperative they gave us a car tour of Srinagar, some background history and brought us back to the boat where they made us a fantastic late lunch.
After lunch we were exhausted so we watched a movie on Kris’s iPad in the living room (call me a materialistic bastard but I am so happy for both my iPhone and her iPad as they have saved us from more significant hassles and been comforting especially when we were overwhelmed and scared), ate dinner and had a guy come by the boat to try and sell us tea.
Kris went to the Internet cafe to try and assuage Ryan’s fears and explain to him how our paranoia spiraled out of control but he had already called the embassy and done enough Internet research to be more freaked out than we were originally–which of course is completely understandable when your partner is halfway around the world and used words like police state and really scared.
So when she got back we talked seriously about leaving Srinagar early and changing our plans again so that he could rest easier. The problem was that if we did that we wouldn’t be able to get the tickets and travel documents we need and that we paid for in person to double check and/or deny. They would be sent to Dharamasala by mail which would pose a myriad of problems
for the rest of the trip.
The great thing about traveling with someone you’ve been best friends with for 20 plus years is that you can lay it all on the table and not be worried about feelings necessarily. Every decision both stupid and smart that we have made, we have made as a team and will continue to do so. So Ryan being seriously worried effects both of us, first because I love the guy too and don’t want to see him this freaked out but two because it influences her leanings which in turn influences our decisions.
I still think we’re going to stay until Eid because Kris kinda wants to and it is a once in a lifetime event, we want to get our travel documents in person to see if this whole thing is legit and every other option for leaving is both inconvenient and costly. We are still in discussions though.