Archive for February, 2013

No Sleep till Delhi!

This week’s crazy unwanted adventure started right after we left the Golden Temple. Liza started feeling sick. I wasn’t really surprised since most of the people at the temple also looked Sikh. We also have been having a ton of trouble booking train tickets online. It’s a very complicated process, and they were supposed to e-mail us a password but they never did. When they finally realized they had forgotten and sent it, the train we wanted was already fully booked. Liza wasn’t feeling good and the train was full so we decided to get a taxi. In India, you take a rickshaw to travel around one city, and taxis are for longer trips. Plus this would eliminate the stress of getting from the New Delhi train station to our hotel… so I thought. The ride was going well until we got just outside Delhi. Our driver pulled over and began talking to another guy who was pulled over and apparently lost. We followed him for the next five minutes then pulled over again. We gave the driver our hotel’s name address, and phone number. We even took out our map and put a dot where we wanted to go. No luck. The driver also didn’t speak any English so we had no idea what was going on. He started hailing rickshaws and talking to them. Most wound up just driving away. Finally he took our bags, tossed them in the rickshaw, and gestured for us to go with him. “Ummmm…” I thought, “does this guy know which hotel we’re going to or is he just going to bring us to a random hotel that pays him commission for bringing lost tourists there like I read about in the guide book?” Somehow we made it to our hotel. We went to the restaurant across the street. I got a vegetarian cheese burger and loved it. That’s how you know it was a stressful day. A vegetarian cheeseburger made me happy. Later that night, though, Liza really wasn’t feeling good. I took her temperature and it jumped from 99.4 to 101 degrees. I began to worry. We agreed that the stressful day may have made it worse so we decided to check again in the morning. In the morning, Liza wasn’t feeling much better, but her fever dropped back to 99.6 degrees. She laid in bed most of the day. By dinner time she was feeling much better, and her fever was all the way gone.

We’re beginning to get really exhausted with traveling and this latest adventure has made us really want to just do a few last things and go home. This being the plan, I went to a travel agent today to book a tour of the city and price out some options for our last week. He mentioned a tour of Rajasthan which was the exact itinerary I planned only several days shorter because we’d have a driver. Unfortunately this was way too expensive so we decided we’d probably have to do a shorter cheaper option, if we could even afford that. We went to the hotel and checked our bank account only to discover that Liza’s tax refund cleared! Now we can do the longer itinerary! We’re so excited! We have about two more weeks left before we head home, and it looks like it’ll be quite the adventure!

Advertisements

Adjusting the Colors on My Camera!

The Golden Temple is the holiest Sikh temple. Sikhism is a synthesis of Islam and Hinduism. It is a very peaceful religion. At the temple you can’t wear anything on your shoes and you must cover your head. Near the temple is a cafeteria where they provide over 50,000 free meals! It was a very unique place.

20130225-224727.jpg

Golden Temple

We left the volunteer program a bit early because the day care workers went on strike so we’re doing a little sight seeing in our last couple weeks before we head home.

20130225-223957.jpg

At Least They’re Honest

20130225-223521.jpg

For You, Uncle Dave

For You, Uncle Dave

The cow was like, “What’s goin’ on?” Then I said my Uncle Dave told me to kiss a cow for him. After that he was cool with it. I’m a little uncomfortable with the look the cow gave me. He definitely enjoyed it more than he should have.

Makin’ Chapati!

Chapati is a delicious Indian flat bread that we eat every night for dinner.

Two Crazy Weeks in India

We’ve been in India for a little over two weeks now and it has already been  quite an adventure. The volunteering is going pretty well. We had a couple bad days, but that was for two silly reasons. We were taking everything way too seriously, and every time I’d build a tower with the blocks, a kid would knock it down and laugh at me. We had to tone it all the way down, and we’ve been having fun ever since. Being the only white people in town in India has been a different experience than it was in Ecuador. In Ecuador everybody was really nice and wanted to be friends. In India we’ve been getting a lot of dirty looks. Everybody also stares at Liza to the point that she doesn’t even want to go out. In Ecuador the creepy men would ask the white women to go dancing or something. Here the men look at women like you’d look at a piece of used furniture on somebody’s lawn with a sign that says “Free” on it. We’re hoping it gets better after we leave the program and go to the tourist attractions where the people will hopefully be more accustomed and hopefully more respectful towards western women. Palampur, the town we’re in, is a legitimate Indian city. There is no tourism so there is no phony culture or gaudy attractions or anything. It’s definitely the real India. If we left today we might not have seen much, but we’ve definitely experienced India.

This weekend, though, we did our first sightseeing. It’s actually the first time we’ve seen any tourists in the two weeks we’ve been in India! We went to Mcleod Ganj in the city of Dharamsala. It’s where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. It’s a much different vibe than Palampur. Most people are Tibetan and/or monks so there is much less staring here. We visited the Dalai Lama’s Temple. Also, as I may or may not have mentioned our host family is vegetarian and doesn’t have a shower so this weekend has been the first time in two weeks I’ve taken a real shower and eaten meat. I’m not sure which I’m happier about! I’ve also begun my souvenir shopping. One bad thing that’s happened this weekend is that someone… Not me… Okay it was me… Set down our guide book in a shop and forgot it there. Fortunately we were able to download the same guide book on Liza’s iPad!Image