The Importance Of Crossing The Nepal Border

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I didn’t know I’d cross the border and go shopping into Nepal until we did. It was one of those “pleasant surprise” moments. When my co-traveller told me we’d be visiting the Nepal border, I assumed we’d get just a glimpse of the border gate. I imagined soldiers with rifles as long as my arm, guarding the gate. I even imagined their predicament: Tourists begging for permission to click away, some sneaking their cameras trying to be clever, and some staring at them, unabashed.

And yet, like so many times in this trip, surprises awaited me. There was a gate, sure. And there were a few soldiers. But they weren’t standing tall and handsome, they sat in a small shack, overseeing tourists who enter.

We had to undergo procedures, yes. Like submitting an identity proof. But I hadn’t anticipated it to be so simple to walk into another country. But again, my dream of crossing an international border came true (again) that day, so I’m not complaining. It’s a good thing India and Nepal are pals.

But photos are not allowed, they warned us. And so, we crossed the border — in special vehicles available there. Not sure who managed those, but the drivers weren’t Indian. They allowed seven people into one van, and drove us for about one kilometre past the border gate. I’d have liked to cross that distance on foot, but the authorities forbade us. Don’t know why though, there were some great little shack shops on the way.

As we travelled, I couldn’t help but think of those movies

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