India

So India was quite the experience. The beeping of the horns was the same but the pollution, population and poverty were much more. However, when we were visiting the sites, aside from the locals who never quit begging and trying to sell us their wares or services (or charge us for some service they provided without us knowing like guarding our shoes when we entered a mosque), we came in contact with many Indian travelers. They were all so friendly and dressed in clean, vibrant colors.

They would usually begin communication with us by pointing us out to their children and telling them to say hi. When Punda and I would respond, the questions would start and we sometimes spent five to ten minutes talking to this family. This happened so much at certain palaces or tombs that we would actually have to keep walking sometimes after saying hi because we would not be able to see what we came to see.

These meetings were priceless though. Thefamilies would always want us to take a picture of them after. I don’t know if its because they think we as Americans like to take pictures, or if it was something to remember the brief meeting. Sometimes people would just stand right in front of us. Our driver said that some had not seen a white man. A “namaste” would break the ice. Sometimes it took them a minute to snap out of their trance. A smile was often the only communication, possibly the only mutual understanding, and always the only thing needed.

The first photo is Ghandi’s tomb located in Delhi. It is in a nice green park with plenty of trees and flowers, a total contrast to the rest of the city. The flame is always burning and a crow stood guard the entire time we were there.
This is a mosque we visited. It was my first. I had to leave my shoes at the front and wear a dress because my legs were exposed. This was not the first time I wore a dress, I think it was the 4th time, 5th if you count the mini-skirt-but lets not go there.

Here is the famous lotus building in Delhi, often compared to the opera house in Sydney, Australia. We walked through and there was nothing to see but a bunch of chairs which I assumed many people pray for long periods of time. The end. On way to Agra, we stopped at Akbars tomb-they really honor the dead!
The famous Taj Mahal in Agra, India as seen through the archway.

The Taj Mahal is very impressive. This is early morning but there would be no sunrise during monsoon season I’m told. After a couple of hours here, it did rain. I was glad we came early. The tomb of the man who built it and the woman he built it for, are both inside. There is a mosque to the left and a guest house to the right (not seen in this photo).
This is me holding a cobra after the cobra taming guy pissed him off with his trumpet thing. It’s actually that funny hat that pisses the snake off and this guy wasn’t wearing one, so I was fine.
Some residents from Bombay that we befriended at some castle in Jaipur, India. Note the black makeup under the babies eyes-wild!
Riding a camel in Pushkar, India, a cool little town built around a lake. We walked through town and into the desert passing a little desert village.

This is Mother Theresa’s tomb in Calcutta. We spent this day visiting the home for nuns of “missions for charities” and Mother Theresa’s orphanage. There was approximately 300 kids there. It was very sad, yet not. Although there were so many children there, many crippled or diseased, all previously homeless, we saw so much of that on the street that I felt in comparison, these kids were in great hands. This was a very moving place.

“Peace begins with a smile,” Mother Theresa

Category: Travel
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