2007 # 10: The Austin Powers Peacock Bed

Well, we ended up staying another night in Shimla. Sheer exhaustion dictated that this should be so, not to mention acclimatisation to altitude. The room we had (on the 4th floor, naturally, according to Murphy’s law, which is continuously having a good laugh at our expense) was like something out of an Austin Powers movie. The backrest of the bed was shaped like a velvet peacock and it had little lights all around it. However, when we turned the lights on, one of them did go, one went on then changed it’s mind and went off again after a few minutes and one didn’t go at all. This wasn’t the only power problem we had. As it turned out, we could watch t.v. and recharge our camera batteries, or we could watch t.v. and have hot water for the shower. We couldn’t have it all – just who did we think we were?!

Oh, and watching t.v. was hilarious. We found the Discovery Channel and watched David Attenborough talk about butterflies and things, but it was dubbed in Hindi. This was great entertainment, until the t.v. turned itself off. We phoned the staff downstairs and after a good amount of time, one of them came upstairs, turned the switch off then on again and away it went. And of course, this little power upset totally threw the hot water system out and we ended up having a luke warm shower. And it’s not all that warm in Shimla.

Another funny thing was our packet of potato chips puffing up like a balloon, until it was as tight as a drum. This was due to the altitude. I wanted to eat them but Paul thought it would be a great joke to leave them and see if the packet actually blew up when we took it up to the Sangla valley, which is approx 3500 metres. I myself had reservations about this. What if it blew up whilst on the bus and we all got evacuated because they thought it was a bomb? That would be kind of embarrassing. So we decided that he would carry them in his backpack and just explain and show them the mess if it happened.

Shimla is a town left over from the British Raj. The British used it as a summer heat-escape place. There are many British buildings there, and one in particular looks just like a building from Hogwarts in Harry Potter. (I got a photo of it for you Ayla.) There’s also a statue of a guy that looks like he’s throttling a kid, whith a sigh under it saying “Duty With Love”. Talk about Dickensien! There are many monkeys in Shimla also. One of them caught me glancing at it out the window when it was wandering around on our balcony and tried to attack me through the window. I’m grateful to the person who invented glass. Talk about a temper!

The next morning we actually got out of bed in time to get to the bus station at 7.40am. What an unnatural time of the day…

We had to walk down many steps to get to the bus station, of course. Walking down steps whilst laden down with backpacks, etc, is not quite as easy as one would presume. My knees were a bit unhappy about it. However, we got there in time to have a chai and watch some rather large mice playing about in the rafters. Just as good as Discovery Channel really. I wonder if Indian mice squeek in Hindi…

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