Skip to primary content


Bombings, shared jeeps, and a tourist’s life in India

Yesterday Bombay was rocked by the commuter train bombings. Today I visited the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre in Darjeeling and told a Tibetan elder that I would be in Bombay in a few days and I was worried about the bombings, and his response was, “That was yesterday.”

Until the bombings my wife and I noticed how peaceful this country of one billion appeared. The streets are relatively safe and there is very little police presence. However, at the same time the cities are chaotic. The streets of the big cities are cacophany of beeping horns where traffic laws seem not to exist. Whether you are walking or driving, every second it’s a close call. That’s part of the reason we are enjoying Darjeeling, way up in the mountains. Of course, driving on the mountain roads, is also one second away from the abyss.

Today my wife jumped into a shared jeep for a short drive to the Ghoom Buddhist Monastery and before we knew it, 14 people were stuffed upon each other with no complaints. My wife and I were in the jump seat in the back and across from us were two women and two children, plus one massive bag of woolens and a suitcase. They were four across in the driver’s bench seat and four across in the seat behind him. Some how I managed to get the best photo of my trip, right there.

I guess the terrorists want everyone to live in panic and they have destroyed families, but at least in Darjeeling life went on as it has each day we have been here. For Diana and I, we decided that we too would just continue on as planned.

Comments are closed.