Himachal Pradesh, India
Let the Journey begin! I'm on the plane now, the take off was sweet! London City looks so beautiful when it is lit up at night.
My emotions about this day were all over the place, and I cried at departure! But it's not all sad, as I believe that this is the beginning of my adult life and I know the experience will be insane!
Right I'm going to relax now and catch an in flight movie- and the next time I write, I will be in India!
19/08/09 (Indian time)
So we finally reached our destination, which was Agra, which is a stunning 7 hour bus journey from the Airport in Deli I am officially Knackered. I saw so much on my way, including levels of poverty that forced me to tears, children that lay naked on pavements not out of wanting to but just being on that line of poverty. It seems the most common way to get around out here is by scooter, which is funny cause the roads are so, so uneven. And to top it off there are no traffic lights! It seems drivers here signal by tooting their horns, which of course is pointless as it doesn't tell you where their going!
We arrived at this really nice hotel in Agra, and I roomed with Abigail. But all that was on our minds was having a shower; it was so good to be clean.
After the shower we ate at around 8, and considering I'm not the biggest fan of Indian food, I ate roti and spicy noodles- which to my surprise were delicious. While eating Ben and I discussed our much needed desire to have a ride in a Rickshaw, which is like a little buggy car. The others didn't want to go, but I convinced Abigail it was a good Idea, so off we went!
The two dudes said that they would show us around free of charge as we were here to work for IDEX (Indian Development Exchange). Ben needed to change some money, so they took us to a place they knew and Ben got what we assumed at the time was a good deal, 75 rupees to 1 British Pound. But as Abigail and I climbed back into the rickshaw Ben realized he had been cheated by 100 rupees, so we quickly learnt our lesson to check your money before you set off.
When we returned to the buggy, the scariest thing happened; they turned the rickshaw off and a man with a rifle as long as my body appeared. At that moment all I was thinking was "How dumb could you be Candie, you've only been here for a day and already your time is up!" Thankfully nothing happened, and apparently it is common to see people walking around with firearms here, but again, lessons learned.
The drivers took us all around, as they collect 20 Rupees from every shop, they take us to, which I must say is a savvy way of advertising. They then took us to a traditional Indian clothing store, which is where the spending began! The shop owner was very welcoming, so welcoming that he was bordering on annoying. He was rather flirtatious, which drove me mad as he seemed to assume that western women were overtly sexual creatures, which most of the time is far from the truth. We looked at so many beautiful, Saris, and Sal war Kameez. In the end I settled for a floor length Orange backless halter gown, and it only cost me 700 Rupees including alteration around 8 quid- Bargain.
In between that time I was able to give my mum a quick call from an ISD phone, it was so good to hear her voice. And I changed some money, and beat the deal that Ben got at 78 to the Pound-Score!
We arrived back at the hotel quite late as both Abigail and my outfits had to be altered. When we did get back, we hit the sack immediately as we had to be up at 6:30 the next day to see the Taj!