2.21.2011

Touring Delhi day 1

The morning after our unreal final dinner it was time to leave Guwahati. I have come to really admire this town and the people of this state. I HAVE to come back here.

The airport we flew out of was so tiny and hot and packed, it stressed me out a little bit. As we took off we hit some really hard turbulence, I had a minor freak out in my mind, ripped off my seatbelt and pulled my bag out for anti-anxiety medication. This was the first time I have ever had to do this when flying. It really freaked me out though. When we landed in Delhi I parted ways with most of the team. About 15 of us were staying in India to travel around. Eight of us were sticking together to do a little tour of Delhi and Agra. The hotel we stayed at that night was very nice! We walked down the street to another hotel for dinner and, yet again, the food was fantastic. I had a veggie dish and naan and munched on other people’s dal. I passed out when I got back to the hotel and woke up early to tour around Delhi.

We started at The Red Fort. This was a fort built by the Moguls, there is actually one in Agra too. It was impressive and large and detailed. Since this was my first real tourist stop in India, I experienced for the first time people trying to sell you stuff like crazy. They weren’t allowed in the fort but they were all over everywhere else. Our tour guide even allowed them in the van when we stopped to try and sell stuff. I wasn’t a huge fan of that. After the fort we took a bicycle rickshaw ride through a bazaar. Basically we lived up tourism. Although, a lot of people do use this as a means of transportation. We rode these to the largest Islamic mosque in Delhi, the Jama Masjid. Unfortunately, it was a Friday and prayer time so we weren’t allowed in. It was neat seeing people get called to prayer though. I believe next we ate a delicious lunch where I ate okra sauteed in spicy sauce called Bhindi Subzi and chana masala which is chic peas in masala sauce. As we left the restaurant there was a snake charmer on the street. Clearly, I had to sit down at his side. I held a snake as he did the charmer thing with the Cobra. The cobra was right by my little hand!! Our last stop in Delhi was the memorial where M.K. Gandhi was cremated. There is an eternal flame there honoring him.

We had to drive the rest of the day to Agra. I’m pretty sure we were told it takes 4.5 hours to get there but I think it took 7. Traffic is so bad pretty much everywhere, even though the driving is crazy it seems that no one is ever driving fast enough to have the collisions like we have in America. The drive there was awesome. We saw a lot of country side and little towns. At one point I fell asleep curled up and facing the window. When I opened my eyes I was greeted by a man in a truck just staring right at me. The cars get so close here that many times I could have opened my window, stuck one finger out and touched the car/bike/rickshaw/camel/scooter/ox/motorcycle/horse next to me. I saw many HUGE Hindu God statues as we drove along, and when they were lit up at night it was like they were just watching over everyone. It is wedding season here in India so we passed more weddings than I could ever count since it was a Friday night. We arrived in Agra fairly late and Mo and I went on a dinner adventure. We didn’t want the hotel food and definitely didn’t want pizza (a Domino’s was across the street). We asked the desk what they recommended and they sent us down a few blocks to a little spot. We started on our way but got freaked out and turned around because there was no sidewalk and lots of speeding cars! When we arrived back at the hotel one of the employees walked us half way and we safely arrived to GMP. I ate a veggie uttapam and Mo got Chana Masala. We had to top it off with our favorite dessert, Gulab Jamun. I saved Mo’s life a few times as she forgot to look both ways crossing the street and only looked the American way and nearly got hit!!!

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