Friday, July 23, 2010


I finally figured out how to add videos to this thing.  Turns out it's ridiculously easy, and for the first time ever I had to have a student show me how to do something online.  That officially makes me old; it's all downhill from here.

Anyway, here they are in chronological order and with a short description below.  Enjoy!

New Delhi:
The view from the bus I took across the southern section of the city.  This is what I was referring to when I said the city was in a constant, unidentifiable state of either being rebuilt or falling apart.  Notice the bus doesn't so much stop as slow down to a non-lethal speed to jump at.
Four girls and my giant packed crammed into a touk-touk to go into town from our hostel.  How that thing moved with all of us plus the driver and his friend is beyond me, but it was a bumpin' ride.
And this is how Delhi said goodbye.  I was walking down the road from my hostel to the train station and almost couldn't get through the cows, the people, the was hilarious.

A quick tour of the Golden Temple, the holiest site for all Sikhs.
All of these videos show different parts of the border closing ceremony between India and Pakistan. I sat on the Indian side (obviously), so you have to look closely to see the Pakistani guards dressed in black. It must be just about the only thing to do for entertainment in this area because there was a huge crowd and they were all natives! A lot of fun, even if I had no idea what the cheers said.
This is back in the Golden Temple.  Every evening they take the copy of the scriptures, a massive book about 3' by 2' that they believe is the several-hundred year-old original version, from its place in the main temple to a secure chamber in another building.  But not to worry, there are priests reading other copies 24 hours a day, so you can get your canonical fix, even at 3am.

Swimming in the Ganges, in the winter, close to its glacial source.  Really not disgustingly dirty here (that would come later in Varanasi), just cold!
Bhavesh, my Indian brother, totally wimps out on his chance to swim

The view from our boat on the Ganges (absolutely disgustingly filthy in this location, bodies and all) of the evening Pooja.  The priests honored their 'Mother' river.

Another poorly shot video from the handlebars of my motorbike and again not the crazy/dangerous part of the ride, but I don't need anything else distracting me on the roads when it's that busy.

A little music to get us in the mood for touring Jodhpur Fort.

An odd scene on the streets of Jaisalmer.  I really don't know exactly what was going on here.

Whatever this was rehersal for, it kicked off at about 11pm.  I almost got locked out of my hostel because I stayed out to watch it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My top tens

Well, with this post, my blog will be done.  I hope you've found something interesting to read or have seen a few photos that make you want to visit India yourself.  It's pretty hard to summarize the trip, or even to say whether it was a good time; so many things happened, both positive and negative, that the best I can do is say that I survived, have incredible memories, learned a lot, and am anxious to travel again.

I'm pretty sure that's all you can ask for when you go on vacation, so I'm going to call my trip a success and move on to the next adventure.  Enjoy the last post and be ready to hear about Indonesia in June.

Top Ten Experiences in India:

1.    Riding motorcycles in the desert and Udaipur and Khajuraho
2.    Dancing on the Pakistani border
3.    Boat ride to the islands in Udaipur
4.    Hot ginger lemon honey drinks w/ Bhav looking at the Ganges
5.    Swimming in the Ganges
6.    Riding a camel over the dunes
7.    Eating in the Sikh gurudwara
8.    Biking through the villages and around the temples in Khajuraho
9.    Crossing the road in Delhi
10.    Drinking chai in a sleeper class cabin on a 3-hour late train

Top Ten People Met: (reverse chronological order)

Simon—for taking care of me while I was sick
Marc—for putting up with me as long as he did
Marco—for everything
Laura—for making me slow down
Sally and Emma—for complaining with me and letting me get it out
Kim—for taking me to yoga and reminding me to be calm
Bhavesh—for keeping me in Rishikesh and being a good listener (he’s still a poser, though)
Holly—for forcing me to leave Rishikesh and go on to Varanasi
Dave—for keeping me safe at the Pakistani border
Jenny and Patrick—for taking me out and getting me tipsy my first night in India

Top Ten Coolest Sights:

1.    Taj Mahal

2.    Golden Temple of Amritsar
3.    The ghats and alleys of Varanasi
4.    Rishikesh from the pedestrian bridges
5.    The erotic temples of Khajuraho
6.    Jodhpur fort
7.    The Thar desert
8.    Gold diorama in Ajmer
9.    Ruins and Lotus Temple in Delhi
10.    Udaipur City Palace Museum

Top Ten Photos:






Top Ten Best Foods:

1.    CHAI!!!!  Especially when you dip your toast
2.    Chipati/naan
3.    Kheer (rice pudding with coconut milk, raisins and nuts)
4.    Kulfi (like ice creamwith sweet spices and nuts)
5.    Chicken muglai/murg tikka masala (nut and butter based gravy)
6.    Cheese toast, oatmeal, scones, hell anything at Devraj Coffee
7.    Govind gatta (when it isn’t burning your tongue off)
8.    Lassis, especially with ice cream
9.    Dhal (lentils)
10.  Channa masala (chikpea curry)

Top Ten Things I Hated at the Moment but Learned a Lot From:

1.    Being alone
2.    Eve teasing
3.    Being turned around/lost
4.    Haggling
5.    Constantly having to watch my stuff
6.    Heavy packs (I really don't need as much as I brought)
7.    Noise, noise, noise
8.    Dealing with salesmen/touts
9.    Trash/Filth/Pollution
10.   Being alone

Are there any others that anyone wants to know??