The nine hours taxi ride from samdrup Jongkhar to Phuntsholing is something to reckon with and the ride becomes more unpleasant if you are alien to the fellow passengers. So I guess one has nothing to do then to doze off and get your head bumped whenever the wheels hit the potholes. And thank god my head still works after that bumpy ride I took yesterday.
I got into the Taxi at about 6 O’clock in the morning and waited on the queue near the Indo-Bhutan gate before the escort team from the Indian Military came to escort us till the Highway at a place called Rangia in Assam. We had to wait for an hour before we could start the journey during which I examined my fellow passengers. They were all lost in their thoughts and I didn’t feel like introducing myself so I ended up taking out my earphones and listening music on my cell phone.
I tried to look around when the journey began but soon got fed up looking at the same stretch of plains for miles. The landscape didn’t change and the journey became dull and droning so I just closed my eyes and tried to sleep occasionally getting my head bumped on the window of the taxi.
After five hours of drive, the taxi finally made a stop in front of a restaurant where the Bhutanese vehicles stop for lunch. The place was bursting with activity and it looked like a scene of a fish market from a “Hindi Movie” where the people were shouting at the top of their voice. I headed my way to the washroom where I had to wait for five minutes before a door opened. The lunch was taken in great haste because there were many people waiting to get a chair so that they could sit and eat. After the lunch we headed back to the taxi only to find the exit blocked by other Bhutanese vehicles. We had to wait for another half an hour before we could move and I resumed my nap.
It was 4.30 in the afternoon when I finally saw the landscape change as we approached the Bhutan border. The sights of the hills gave me an immense sense of homecoming and I was glad to be on the familiar land again though I was away from home. And I was even more pleased to see my friend waiting for me at the taxi stand.