I knew I shouldn’t have gone to KFC here in Guwahati. I mean, it seemed so out of place. But so did the one in Chengdu 22 years ago and I mean, how can you f up chicken right?
Well I walked in “just to look” and it had A/C. I had just succumbed to a one hour car ride from Guwahati airport and the dude wanted to charge me 100 rupees for AC during the ride! I’m like, do you m know who I am? Haha. No I tell him with my silent monologue saying “it’s only 12 miles”. High noon. 95 degrees. 90% (at least) humidity. The sweat starts the minute I, well, leave the airport. Long pants. Long shirt. T shirt under it.
By minute 15, I’m drenched. By minute 30 i consider ever so briefly to ask him to put it on. Pride took over again. The crotch sweat was back with a vengeance. The traffic thru town was horrific so no wind to aid me. After an hour I got into my AC room and crashed.
I needed food though and the KFC seemed like a great answer. I mean why would I sit in a sweaty local place and likely get sick from spoiled meat. I walked out. I walked back in. Self justification wins out. I DESERVED that chicken sandwich and wings. Likely fresh. Haha.
When she put the ice in the coke i raised an eyebrow. No. She knows I’m a traveler. She knows better. They must be purified as she handled them oh so delicately.
The rumbling began about 2 am. Oh it’s just the chips I ate after. It continued. It’s just me getting used to stuff. 6 AM. Kablooey. Uh oh. I gotta jump in a shared jeep for 2 1-2 hours at noon.
I got time. Back to bed. At 11 after my 4th trip to the can, I succumbed once again. Ciproflaxin. Come to my rescue.
I had had little water that night and no brekkie. I got this. We will be up in the hills and cooler in no time. I can hold it.
Well the “shared” taxi guy caught my eye. Shillong? Why yes. My head told me take a regular taxi. My ego again said shared taxi. I got this. When you leaving? 20 min he says. It high noon again. I put my pack on the roof and after 10 min decided in my infinite wisdom I wanted a window so I jumped into the back seat that were all black and waited. He’s gotta go soon right? He’s not full yet. Shit.
He pulls away after 30 min and does a slow loop thru traffic. Shillong Shillong. Ending back where we started. Jesus dude. You’re gonna have a sweaty shitty mess back here. Get on with it!
Our two and half hour ride turned to four counting the waiting. I was lucky enough to sit next to a local that spoke English and wanted to describe every banal point of interest on the road. There’s a lake. No a river. No a lake. All the while I’m inching towards defcon 5.
We stop to wrap the roof bags as rain is coming. The driver gets food. Here is my insurance policy. I sprint to toilet out back (if you want to call it that) and squatted with my day pack on and averted disaster. Try using toilet paper in that position. Ain’t easy.
So both Guwahati and Shillong are dirty hot places that I have no desire to see. It’s higher and cooler thank god up here. But during the day. Pain. I have to kill two days waiting for my permits.
The locals rarely embrace their culture and dress like frat guys from the 80s. I know. I was one. The locals are not particularly friendly or communicative except with their horns.
So I walked my extremely sweaty and stinky ass thru the traffic jam and up the hill. Denied by two hotels the third was like heaven. I mean, it had a bucket shower sort of but it saved me.
I used to say to friends I don’t need no stinking gym membership to lose weight. I’ll go to Asia and eat and drink and trek. It works. I’m bulletproof with Cipro for three days. Wish me luck!