Thursday, October 2, 2008

India Day 13 Taj Mahal

Today we went to Agra. It’s the girls, me and Rashe is doing the driving. Our first stop was the Temple of Hare Krishna. This particular temple was built only 40 or so years ago so it is relatively new. This site was supposedly where Krishna played with the cows. I couldn’t tell you why that’s important but apparently it is. This temple is also rather famous and quite elaborate. People come from all over the world to worship here. At least half of the people that I encountered in the temple were foreigners, many Americans. They were doing their morning ceremonies which included lots of singing, dancing and of course idolatry. The same verse was repeated over and over and over. It was a bit strange almost like a Hindu cult for old American hippies. I should also throw in here that even though Hare Krishna is depicted in all of his pictures as being blue, he was in fact, not blue.

Next stop the Taj Mahal. Well, almost, we ate breakfast first. Words can not describe the beauty of the Taj. When I walked through the gate and saw it I was breathless. “Am I really here?” I asked myself. It was a surreal experience. The marble, the inlayed stones, every curve and every wall was just incredible. Its funny to think that underneath all of the marble is a big brick building. As breathtaking as I though the Taj was some of the people there seamed to think that I was also quite the spectacle and wanted to have their picture taken with me. Here we were at one of the modern wonders of the world and they wanted a picture with me, that’s fantastic. And couldn’t even tell you how many pictures the girls took with Indian tourists, one after another after another. Oh, and when I was getting my ticket for Taj a guy said to me, “Nice beard, it is a very sexy beard.” That’s right folks, I have a sexy beard and don’t you forget it. I’m telling you, India loves my face. Oh and the kids who sell key chains outside the Taj are quite possibly the most aggressive sales people in the world. If these kids sold Girl Scout cookies the Girl Scouts would have more money than Bill Gates himself. How aggressive are they? Well I bought a key chain for rs 10 and the kid insisted that I should buy 10 more.

Next we made our way to Agra fort and wow, another amazing piece of Indian architecture. It was stunning to say the least. My favorite thing about the fort was sitting in the giant open windows, towering over a 100 feet above the ground, and just staring through the mist at the Taj in the distance. And of course there were additional aggressive sales people here too. How aggressive are they? Well I bought a marble elephant. The guy started out at rs 460 but settled for rs 80 because that’s what I had in my pocket. That’s an 80% price drop. Sure, I’m a sucker but not as much as the guy who pays rs 460.

On the way back to Delhi we stopped to eat and I tried the Indian version of pizza. Its good, I liked it very much. Tonight, finally, someone stayed up with me and played cards, speed. I love playing cards. I wish I could take my housemates home with me.



Paul said...

Euchre, Monday.

Elaine said...

I'm jealous. I'd love to see the Taj Mahal someday.