this post was originally from February 9, 2010
Hey there Everyone,
Do you know that feeling when you have so much to tell but you question whether to say anything at all because you don’t know where to begin? This is exactly how I feel. In one day we have seen and done so much that it is hard to take in every single detail. I lay in bed at night thinking about what stories I want to write about, and new things will pop into my head all the time.
The most heart wrenching is the poverty. I tend to compare the poverty with what I experienced in Tanzania and it is not even comparable. Yes, many in Africa were extremely poor…but there even the people who had nothing had a joy in their heart and a sense of order. Here in India, it is absolute chaos and people look utterly depressed. People took care of their huts and what little they had in Tanzania. Here they throw garbage anywhere and dodging a big loogy (spit) is not uncommon. Now as you read this, you might think wow, that place sucks-but it is amazing all at the same time. Even though a lot of my words sound like I am complaining I want to stress that this is the magic of India. There is so much good among what seems chaotic and mental. Being a tourist and uncovering all these things at once is a bit overwhelming, but also at the same time completely exhilarating. India is a place of stark contrasts, and my emotions tend to be all over the place just the like country!
As I said in the last post we did all the major touristy things in Delhi over the two days we were there before meeting our tour group. If you look at a Delhi guide we probably did and saw it all. It was a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t want to have left India without experiencing it all. The second day we hired a cycle rickshaw and he took us into a place called Chowdy Chok where all the local merchants are. The streets are extremely narrow and at each corner you saw new and interesting sights. When we looked up it was shocking. There were thousands of wires – telephone and electrical wires that zigzagged to create a web of tangled electricity! I am sure that many of you have seen images like this on the internet, but seeing this first hand made one completely speechless!
We met a little boy who spoke perfect English and wanted to sell me post cards. I spoke to him for a bit and asked if he goes to school. No – this little boy who I later found out is one of many who are owned by the Indian Mafia. The movie Slum Dog Millionaire is a perfect depiction of the corruption and abuse that goes on all the time in this country. It made my heart sink and I couldn’t help but cry when I left the little boy.
Later we met a guy who happened to work at a travel shop. We checked on tours to see about going on a Tiger Safari (one of my dreams) and decided to change our trip a bit. Instead of spending the last days in Goa on the beach we cut it two days short and changed our flights so we leave from Delhi. This way we are going on a two day safari in a National Park so that we can see India’s wildlife and of course the tigers that are quickly becoming extinct. I am super pumped.
We met our G Adventures tour group and I am definitely the granny of the group. Who knew 31 was so old? They are all super nice – from UK, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Jess and I are the only Canucks.
Yesterday we took a 5 o’clock train to Agra. The train ride itself was one in a million. I have never seen so many bare asses in all my life!! Full moons were everywhere. People tend to take a shitter right at the side of the tracks. Try eating your train meal while watching men who are taking a poop- it was a feat!!!! You might suggest I just look away…but it was one of those things that as much as you don’t want to watch, you just cant avert your eyes. I look harder when I see something I shouldn’t. Like the other day in the city – on the side of the road an old man was laying there with his bare butt in the air. Of course I look harder and notice that he has balls the size of a football. That image is forever embedded in my memory.
Speaking of embedded in my memory…the Taj Mahal. I just cant describe in words the awe and wonder when I first set eyes upon this massive structure. It is beautiful. Intricate. Massive. And Magical. I think I took one too many photos…but photos just cant do it justice.
As well we saw the Red Fort, and the Baby Taj. But the topper of the day was having supper at Pizza Hut. Kidding. Not kidding that we had Pizza Hut, but definitely just doesn’t fit in with the whole ‘India thing’. I think my stomach might be thanking me for one meal without spice…but the Indian food here is to die for.
Today we are taking a 6 hour bus ride to Rajasthan. We are taking local transportation so I am sure there will be some good stories to tell you.