Where We Went: Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, India
First Moment Here: We were fully expecting so much crazy and sightly disappointed in just how normal this place feels. Okay, okay, I did see like more guys taking a piss along the side of a major 4 lane (with 5 lanes of traffic) highway than I did cows, which is saying something in India. And thankfully Nepal prepared us for all the honking. Just following my golden rule of “never look out the front of the vehicle” and keeping my blood pressure normal while en route.
Funniest Thing We Did: Try to understand a single word (mind you, they’re speaking English). It makes it all the worse!
Craziest Thing We Did: While driving we saw: pigs, goats, monkeys, dogs (unfortunately many dead on the roadside), antelope, cows, bulls, camels, buffalo and ELEPHANTS! I’m probably missing a few animals in there but you get the idea.
Best Thing We Did: On our sixth day here (in the third city we visited) came the grand finale, the Taj Mahal. We went early in the morning so there was great light. It was cool to see this “wonder of the world” with our own eyes.
One of my other favorite memories is when we were at a mosque (shoes off and everything) and these girls wanted a picture with me. I wanted a picture with them too. Lots of kids smiled and waved (and stared) at me throughout the trip. 10 time more than in any other place we’ve been.
Tastiest Thing We Did: Garlic Naan. And ALL the Indian food we ate.
Coolest thing we Learned: We learned a ton of history while we were here. Gandhi’s story was pretty incredible and hearing it while standing at his memorial was amazing, We also learned all about the previous rulers, the expanse of their empires and different people groups, religions and architecture.
Biggest Surprise: We had trouble communicating sometimes and found that the hotel reception wasn’t always the most helpful.
Mystery Solved: With Holi approaching, I noticed women on the sides of the streets selling these little brown dome frisbee shaped things (but smaller). I asked our guide and they are what I thought they are (manure) for lighting fires in their house (as all Hindus do) to celebrate Holi.
The roads are, of course, crazy. A few things we saw were tons of guys riding on tops of busses, a caravan of gypsies (no joke!), cows laying down in the middle of the highway, dogs running across the road making us slam on our brakes, people hauling all kinds of crazy loads that looked like they could tip the vehicle (in the loose sense of the word) at any moment, lots of tricycles and rickshaws, cars coming at you head on (on the wrong side of the road) for no reason, and people digging a hole in the middle of the street, shoeless, all while men, women and children successfully crossed the road.