Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chapter Four

In Which a Day is Wasted Being Grumpy

Let me tell you about this day. We got up way too early to catch a train to Jhansi, where we would proceed to Khajuraho. Then the train (coming from Delhi) was delayed due to - you guessed it - fog. For FOUR AND A BLOODY HALF HOURS!!! Waiting most of that time in the ladies' lounge on a hard chair and peeing in a squatter did NOT put me in a good mood.

(Don't get me wrong. I can pee in a squatter with the best of them. It's just not fun).

Anyways, I continued to be grumpy on the train because I sincerely dislike having people in my personal space, and I had to share my right armrest with some creeper because Gimpy (aka the Evil One) didn't trust her recovering elbow to a stranger. Which the rational part of my brain understood, but the rational part of my brain was on a vacation somewhere else and so MAYBE I was a little pissy with her, but she is an awesome friend and still pointed out some of the more awesome features of the landscape we were passing, including a random temple or palace out in the middle of nowhere. Or rather, the near middle of nowhere. The true middle of nowhere, as we were soon to learn, is where we were headed. Which is a good thing, because the Persians, who ruled India during the Mughal dynasty, were not averse to recycling Hindu temples, minus most of the art, and I'd be really upset if that had happened at Khajuraho.

Unfortunately, the train didn't take us all the way there. We got off the train at Jhansi, and had a driver taking us the rest of the way. And take us, he did. I can't even explain the driving to you (but I can try...it involved veering around lorries, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, bicycles, cows, and anything else in the road - at high speeds, in the opposite lane, with oncoming traffic. Oh, and lots of horn honking and light flashing). And it was literally off the beaten path - about three hours after we set out the road deterioated to a surface similar to that of your typical adolescent's face - so it was creeping up on nine before we got into the FABULOUS (and I am absolutely NOT being sarcastic) Usha Bundela Hotel, where we picked up our lovely young guide. He proved his worth that night by taking us to an Italian restaurant called the Mediterraneo ("Italian Chef - Dutch Supervision. Since 1991). A great hotel and a real Italian restaurant. What more could two white girls ask for? Okay, I can think of a thing or two, but we'll leave it at that for now...

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