Well, I’m back in
Our trip to the North was jam packed and quite frankly, it’s all becoming blurred together. Forts, palaces, temples and mosques. Everything seems to be carved of sandstone and marble and have a story behind it.
The good thing about being on a tour bus is that you get from one place to the other with no messing around, the bad thing is that you are an easy target for the hawkers, “Hello, what country? 100 rupee, only 100. Okay 50 rupee. 10 rupee, 10. 10 rupee… hello.”
We were touring one mosque in
We only spent a morning in
On the inside are replicated tombs of Shah Jahan (who had the Taj Mahal built) and his wife Mumtaz, who it was built for. Inlaid with precious gems, it’s quite a site to see. However, there were many people who had no interest in that but instead, laid on the floor, trying to peel up the grating that covered the staircase down to the tombs where the real coffins were. The people on the floor kept getting whistled at by the guards and would move away only for a moment before getting back on the floor and peeling up the grating.
On to Jaipur in the afternoon, the journey there provided the biggest contrast between north and south. Instead of wall to wall palm trees and crows, there were open fields with women in saris walking along with bundles of sticks on their heads twice as wide as they were. Men stood at the side of the roads grazing sheep, discs of cow dung were stacked in all sorts of decorative manner drying to be used for fuel and camels stood in front of storefronts ready to pull a cart full of goods down the road. It did seem more like pictures you’ve seen of
At one fort, a woman was walking around under a veil with a tote bag that said “Attack Force Taliban”. I chose to observe and leave, though someone in our group stayed back to try and get a picture.
I’ve got about 14 rolls of film to develop and then sort through before everyone is tortured with, “here’s a bucket of sand, here’s another bucked of sand…”
I’m looking forward to seeing and/or talking to everyone soon but right now I’ve got about 7
tons of laundry calling my name.