Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cold Indian Fog

So we’ve been in India for 15 days and I still haven’t seen a honey badger. At this point, I am fully prepared to put them in the “Unicorn, Yeti, and the Like” category.
So we started India off with the sparklingly clean, large, modern airport in New Delhi, and then we scampered off to the..., um..., dusty..., loud..., noisy..., um..., well, we went off to the rest of New Delhi which was nothing similar. Then we reached our huge castle of an apartment and flicked through TV channels in a state of utter and complete bliss.
Our first touristic destination was Qutub Minar, where a total of 56 people took pictures with us. We even got our own personal stalker who followed us for at least an hour and even waited as we inquired as to the cost for using the WC. How... nice.
The next day we went clothes shopping and we bought two punjabis: one for me and one for Maria, two saris: one for Mom, one for Maria, and for $20 bought three [clip-on] noserings. Afterwards we went to Jantar Mantar, which looked like a giant skate park. Such a shame skateboards were not allowed (or maybe they are. I didn’t check. But I seriously doubt the Indian military would want me to skate all over their national monuments).
Then we went to Jama Masjid, which is the biggest mosque in Old Delhi. Everywhere were children running and playing and I had a hell of a time trying to photograph them all. The mosque itself remined me a bit of the Himeji Palace in Kyoto, mostly because it was so bare and empty, but beautifully so.
We then went to the Red Fort, and it took a while for us to understand this is not the Red Fort from Jodhaa Akbar. Odd.
The next day we went to the Lotus Temple, of the Bahai Faith. It was shaped like a huge, closed, white lotus and it was ridiculously echo-y inside, to the point where Ioan and I were almost physically restraining ourselves from screaming at the top of our lungs. This, of course, would have deafened any normal mortal, as even the slightest breath echoed a thousand times, but Ioan and I are not normal.
We are...
Sadly enough, we did not scream. After all, they had very nicely asked to please not make noise inside the temple, and I had been very annoyed with all the schoolboys who were not respecting this. And I think I would’ve given everyone there a heart attack. And I don’t want that kind of blood on my hands... mouth... whatever...
After the Lotus Temple we went to the Humayun’s tomb. There, we saw a couple who both had huge fancy cameras and would both take the same exact pictures a million different ways at the same time. Theories abound as to why, but I’m pretty sure they’re competing against each other.
Eventually we visited a rather large museum full to the brim with schoolchildren on visit. They were all very friendly and very happily said hello, waved, shook hands, asked my name, pinched my cheek... Mostly it was girls, but the little boys liked to say hi too. There were some older guys (late teens, early twenties...) who asked for pictures with me, and when I saw the crowd gathering with their cameras out, I quickly said, “Oh, my family’s gone. Good-bye!” and ran.
(Running is good.)
After the museum we went to the India Gate, which was sort of an Indian Arc de Triumph, but taller and less interesting. And more crowded. I personally prefer the Romanian one, but this one was nice too.
The next day we left for Agra and spent a day at Fatehpur Sikri, and met Alison, a California girl who was spending Christmas with her family in India. We talked, took pictures and exchanged emails, then went our seperate ways. Ioan’s and mine went towards a dog drinking from a pool, and quite a few pictures were taken of that. Later, while editing, I decided to try something that Ivan Andreevich, a photographer I quite like, did, which is to rotate a picture so that the reflection is on top:
The next day was Maria’s birthday, and we woke up ridiculously early to see the Taj Mahal and experience cold, Indian fog firsthand. We met Heidi and Brandon, who had spent some time in Romania and had a short conversation with Heidi in Romanian, then we left for the Baby Taj, which was the building that inspired the Taj Mahal. I don’t see the resemblance.
We wandered around and took pictures, then we went to the Yamuna River and took pictures of the Taj Mahal off in the distance (what little we could see of it). I was more interested in a passing herd of goats than in the foggy palace, and there was where I directed my attention.
We also went to the Agra Fort, which is from Jodhaa Akbar, and had fun exploring and recognizing things.
“Look! That’s where the rabbits are!” Maria pointed out excitedly.
Rabbits?!!” I turned around quickly. “Where?!”
“Over there! Remember? How she was playing with the rabbits?”
“Oh yeah...”
After the Agra Fort, we went back to the Taj Mahal to try and actually see it this time. We could, which was lucky, but then Dad and I got seperated from Mom, Maria, and Ioan. This was incredibly unfortunate, because we had just found a family of dogs playing in the grass, and Mom had the camera. We managed to find her in time to take photos of them, and then we enjoyed the rest of the Taj before going home to do our own seperate activities. Mine was reading The Lincoln Lawyer, a very good book from only a few years ago, which is better than the library that I have built up on my iTouch. This library is on the app FreeBooks, which lets you download books for free. Unfortunately for my brain*, these are all pre-1923.
*When reading, I tend to think like the book or act like the main character. So reading old books kinda turns me into a freak.
The next day we went to the train station to get to New Delhi, but it was delayed for three hours. So instead we payed a driver to take us to the New Delhi airport where we ate Pizza Hut and rushed to make our plane... to Goa.

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