It is not essential to travel abroad to experience a language barrier. India’s geography is vast enough to give any traveler a challenge of his lifetime. On my trip to Kannur, Kerala, the language came heavily on me, when I frantically ran around looking for someone who could lead me to the bus stand on time.
It all started on my checkout day from a small town Mattanur, not very far from the Kannur district. I had only an hour to catch the bus and on checkout, I headed for the nearby bus stand to catch the bus to Bangalore, from where I had my return flight to Nagpur. After asking for the directions, I realized that I will have to go to Kannur bus stand for Bangalore. So, I took an hour drive on an auto-rickshaw to Kannur bus stand, only to learn that the last bus had already left at 10:00 am.
I also learnt that I need to go all the way back to the same place from where I started from, to catch the next bus. ‘Wow’, I said.. I was enjoying the language barrier already now; changing auto-rickshaws back and forth from my hotel and bus stand, trying to figure out which bus stand to reach. Although, there are Hindi speakers in Kerala, but when you are in the remote areas, finding one who can explain you things in a flow is rather a challenge.
After all that struggle, I met someone to whom I could explain things in Hindi. Santhosh, as he called himself was quick enough. He immediately called for an auto-rickshaw and explained to him exactly the place from where I will get my bus. We exchanged contact nos. and as I was traveling towards the bus stand, he kept guiding all the way with his occasional phone calls in between. Finally, as I boarded the bus to Bangalore, I called up to thank him for all his support at such short notice.
Not everything can be found on Google Maps after all!!
Booking a return flight in Balinese