The Strike in Darjeeling India

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By: leelefever on March 28, 2006 - 6:08am

What a crazy day. Yesterday we made reservations to fly to Darjeeling, in the Himilayas in far eastern India.

In true Indian fashion, things, as yet, have not worked out as planned.

You can't just fly to Darjeeling- you have to fly to Bahdogra and then catch a 3-5 hour taxi or jeep ride to Darjeeling (something we knew). What we didn't know was that Darjeeling is, just for today, "on strike". We're still not sure what that means, other than a pain in the ass for us.

At the airport, we learned that no taxis or jeeps would take us there until 5pm (we arrived at 1:30). We heard from other travelers that we could go 12km to another town and get a ride there. So we did and became even more confused about the state of affairs in Darjeeling and why we can't go until 5.

Part of the issue is certainly language, but we are a bit mistrustful and it's hard to know who to trust in a small town in India where everyone wants your money.

In the end, we met a Tibetan man named Provin who is currently driving us to Darjeeling. He says that the town, his home, will open up at 6pm and we can arrive.

He says that the ruling political party is doing a strike as a protest for the murder of their political leader via stabbing (complete with "Psycho" like hand motions) - which just happened yesterday. (Updated: This story turned out to be complete bullshit - it was a tea workers union that organized the strike) The strike has closed every business in Darjeeling for today- including the roads leading there until 5pm, we hope.

It is supposed to be a one day strike and should not affect the rest of our stay. But, as we've learned- there are no guarantees in India. You just hope for the best and roll with things as they happen.

The mountains and cool air are beautiful so far... Here's tomorrow's forecast...

Wednesday- Clear. High: 66° F Wednesday Night- Clear. Low: 37° F