Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chapter One of...The Indian Adventures of Two White Girls

In Which They Make it to Delhi, Three Hours After They Were Scheduled To
(Also known as "Not an Auspicious Start...")

So. I've made it back to Hyderabad in one piece, my sanity mostly intact (the Evil One's is fine, as well...but she is better equipped to deal with the...challenges...of life in India having lived here for the last ten months). This little jaunt out of Hyderabad began five days ago, with a plane ride to Delhi. Something you might find interesting about northern India - apparently in the winter they get fog. Lots and lots of fog. I didn't know about this until we were all boarded, ready to go, and the captain came on (for the first of many times) to announce that visibility in Delhi was too low, and we were probably going to be delayed for a half hour. The half hour stretched into an hour, and then into two, as we waited for some instrument to be repaired at the airport in Delhi. There are times when boredom sets in, and you feel like you've always been waiting for X to occur, and there is no end in sight, and you will always BE waiting, even though you know it MUST at some point be over.

This would turn out to be a theme for this trip, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

After two-plus hours, we were finally able to take off on our merry way to Delhi - YAY! After two more hours, we were above Delhi, and the captain came on - yet again - to let us know that we were going to have to circle until visibility went up to 300 meters. Which turned out to be yet another hour. And that is why I may look kind of grumpy in the pictures we took at the monuments in Delhi. Also, the fact that it WAS foggy, sort of ruined seeing said monuments. But what can you do?

Said monuments were a.) Qutub Minar and b.) Humayan's Tomb.
How much can I tell you about these world heritage sites? Not much, since I don't believe in tour guides. Here's what I picked up from the Evil One: Humayan was the Shah Jehan's favorite son, who was beheaded by one of his other sons in a bid for the throne (other bloodshed ensued, but you gotta feel bad for Shah Jehan...he'd moved his seat of power to Delhi after Mumtaz' death and was pretty heartbroken BEFORE his heir apparent was murdered by another child who THEN had daddy imprisoned). Anyways, by the time we finished at the tomb, I'd chilled out some and was feeling up to the drive to Agra, which was long and proceeded in Indian fashion (ie, with some scary driving). At about the three-hour mark I mentioned that I needed the bathroom, and the driver said he knew a place we could stop. It turned out to be the (eeeeeeeeeevil) Maharaja Motel, and it was excellent. The bathrooms were clean and western-style, the restaurant smelled good, if we were hungry (we weren't), and it had a plentiful array of tourist schlock that we could have bought if we were feeling touristy (also a negatory). But it had pringles and Twix and bottles of coke and gave us the strength to keep going til we got to Agra, where we ate a late dinner at the hotel's - get this - revolving restaurant called the Merry-Go-Round. Seriously? A budget hotel with a revolving restaurant? Yes, rock fans, only in India.

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