India: And the Fun Continues…

Your typical foreign traveler in front of the Taj Mahal

This is the second part of a two-part post, to read the first half, go to: “India: My Visit to My 5th Continent.” Theresa’s time in India continues…

Day 4: Woke up at 5:30am to get to the Taj Mahal for sunrise! Wow. I never thought that I would have the chance to see the Taj Mahal in person, let alone go inside of it and spend hours walking around. It is amazing that the Taj was build as a memorial because it is HUGE and it costs a fortune to build. The best part was that you have to go around barefoot when you are inside, I love being barefoot! We drove around the rest of the day and visited different sites and whatnot. Our bus hit another car…opps. We got to visit Agra Fort, which was very neat. The architecture here is incredible, everything is so intricate and detailed and they use a lot of marble. Then we went back to the Taj Mahal for sunset, can’t complain 🙂

For your entertainment

We walked around the Taj, relaxed, and just soaked it all in…and we took pictures of us pinching the top of it, DUH! The Taj Mahal is one of the 7 wonders of the world! Then we got back on the train and made our way back to Delhi for the night. We got to the train station at night and there were hundreds of homeless people there- they just sleep there night after night, I had never seen anything like it, it was horrible. There are also tons of little kids begging for food, it is so sad. They said not to give the kids money to by food because they will just buy drugs or tobacco, they also said not to give the kids food that can be resold (like a bag of chips) because then they will just sell that instead of eating it although they are starving. So what we did was we gave them things like brownies or we unwrapped cookies and told them to eat it in front of us, it was a lot more comforting.

Day 5: A few of us roamed around Delhi for the day. We took the metro all around the city (it is cleaner and so much more organized than NYC, in my opinion). We went to markets and walked all around the city. My friends Melissa traded her jeans for a wooden bowl, Madison bought a lamp shade, Melissa bought a bean bag chair, I was bargaining with some guy and he told me if I took a picture with him he would cut the price in half…very interesting day to say the least. Then it was time to fly back to Cochin.

I am a new yoga master!

Day 6: We woke up at 6:30 for YOGA! We went to a 2 hour yoga class, TWO HOURS! But it was incredible! It was more meditation than yoga, but it was a good mix of both. I did my first ever headstand 🙂 In my class I met this older couple who was traveling around India- they were from NY and the man was a UMICH alumni! Small world.

After the class our instructor had made us all breakfast. We ate in a circle on the floor…and they all eat with their hands. How do you eat rice and stew with your hands? I still don’t really know, but it is possible. They ball the rice up and clump it all together and then use it to soak up all the stew…I don’t know…but it works!

We walked around the city the rest of the day. We visited some schools and watched some boys play cricket. By the end of the day Sara and I had 10 rupee left (20 cents) and we still had to get back to the ship. Believe it or not we took a 4 cent water taxi back to the ship and we had a few coins to spare 🙂 Now that is perfect planning. and off we were…to Singapore!

India was an incredible experience overall. I feel like I spend a lot of time in transit, but at the same time I got to see the North and South and foreign transportation is always an experience…they tried to sell me nachos and then jewelry on the plane? and on the train we got unlimited free food!

Some fun things about India: they use camels as a form of transportation, they do not eat beef at all because the cow is a sacred animal and they don’t kill them, the majority of India is vegetarian, so every place you go to has tons of veg options (no wonder you loved it Mar), and monkeys just roam around on the streets, in the rickshaws, on the water taxis, and so on- a very different culture than our obese, meat-eating culture of America!

 

The Taj Mahal... and me 🙂

I feel like my time was very rushed in India, there was just SO much to do and so little time. I think that this is one of the places that I want to and need to return to. I got to experience so much and I got a sense of the culture and the way of life, but there is so much of India that I did not get to experience and see! I guess that is the case in every country because we are in and out so quick…it is such a tease and it just makes you want to travel for the rest of your life… who says you can’t 🙂

Submitted by Theresa, Abroad101 Global Ambassador on Semester at Sea