Venita and I : we really WERE there!
Okay, so they caught me not-so-surreptitiously taking their picture...
The Taj Mahal herself
2nd day dinner - a rather nice restaurant, and a cocktail each...the lap of luxury.
Monsoon season, yes.
A tomb at Qutb Minar, a Moghul construction from the 10th century (I think!)
Lunch with Sanjay and Shekhar (?), friends through a friend in Vancouver - LUCKY!
The view from the hotel on my first morning.
ALLISON! C'EST MA COPINE A MOI!
London is ridiculously expensive. But oh so so cool to lunch it with the Al girl.
4th day in Delhi and I think we're starting to manage our sanity...the first couple of days were rife with highs and lows! The constant honking of the cars now makes some sense (after driving for 6 hours to and from Agra, I've realised that there IS a significant use for the horn...believe it or not, it's all about safety!)
Delhi is also full of smell - not lovely foody smell, but rank, damp, pollution-y smells. And the bitch face that I have to wear in the streets to avoid the constant offers of rickshaw drivers, tourist information people, acrobatic children...well, it can get a gal down!
But we've found the metro, which is such a wonderful thing. No haggling, no worries about being taken to some shop instead of to your destination - aaaah independance. It's helped a lot.
So we saw the Taj Mahal yesterday - it is a beautiful thing. It's very busy with other tourists (mostly other Indian tourists) but it's got a kind of quiet in it. Probably because everyone needs to pay entrance, and so there are no beggars, or hawkers. Elitist, I know.
But we were asked often if we'd pose in pictures with people - and mostly Venita. We found out that it's because she's Chinese looking! This is a funny thing, we're like a freakshow! Good thing Venita's got the whole "don't bother me" thing going on - I'm learning a lot from this girl!
So in two days I'm going to be in Leh, where the air will be drier, and cooler, I think. I'm very looking forward to this! It turns out also that the Dalai Lama will be there on the 31st as well, which is just so perfect.
I realise here (and often) that I'm such a blessed, blessed person. That I'm here, that I'm well, that I can move around...
I was reading the Hindustani Times this morning and read an article about a 4 year old boy who uses a catheter from his bladder while he's waiting for an operation. He's just been kicked out of his school by the administration because he scares the other children.
This has me reeling. And this is why I'm here. Because these things DO happen. And I know I can't just come in here with my sheltered, Canadian privileged-girl culture and expect to come up with a solution. But at least I can think about these things, and question these things...
Woh. It's going to be a lot of processing over the next weeks.
At any rate, it's been amazing. And I've laughed and high-fived and sung in the streets. La vie est belle!
Until next time!