I ended last time with a cliffhanger about a tour with street kids in Delhi... We went on the tour and it was thoroughly inspiring and shocking. The tour was led by two 20-somethings who've been helped by this charity that helps take kids off the street and gives them shelter and counselling and pays for their education and good things like that. They were so lovely and warm and inspiring, I just don't know how to describe it.
Since then, the main highlight has been seein the Taj Mahal, which is pretty much all it's cracked up to be - even if Agra, the city it's in, is awful, with uncomfortably aggressive rickshaw drivers and mind-boggling poverty. We first saw the Taj Mahal from the roof of a hotel, and my stomach did a little flip. Very excitin. One memorable moment from Agra was a cycle rickshaw driver who tried to drop us off in the middle of nowhere because he couldn't get his rickshaw up this steep hill. After a good old-fashioned row, we carried on and Shahar got out to help push, to the very great amusement of anyone who saw us.
We're now in Jaipur, where we have tried and failed to do a volunteer project, visited some very impressive buildings, and where Shahar played cricket in the park with some very excitable kids (oh, how they cheered when he finally hit the ball!). I've had a dodgy stomach and ate nothing but a handful of crisps and biscuits for a few days, but now I'm back on track and had a delicious milky thing that tasted a bit like rice pudding for breakfast. Last night, we happened to see not one but two crazy processions in the street, with brass bands seemingly playing several songs at once while very poor people carried gigantic electric lights on their shoulders and other people wearing suits danced in the middle. With horses and an elephant with flowers painted on his trunk for good measure. All of this was in the middle of a main road and the traffic had to be suddenly diverted. It was so intense and exciting and sort of sad that I almost cried. Anyway, we're leaving Jaipur in a couple of hours, going south to Rajasthan's only hill station - which will be bloody cold, but we're really eager to get out of these big, overwhelming cities and head for the hills.
I hate crossing the road here. It's insane.