Thursday, September 23, 2010
So we finally piled into overpriced taxis for the 3 hour drive to Rishikesh. We were squished and hot. It is so muggy here. The rain has made to many potholes in the road that it was really an uncomfortable drive. At one point on the highway our driver did not want to go over a pothole so he just swerved to the other side of the road and weaved his way through oncoming traffic for a while. It was quite the experience. We made it to the ashram for dinner. I have to talk about the food. It is all so fresh and delicious here. We get warm milk! It is the first place we've had milk in the past weeks. We find ourselves talking about food everyday, often more than once. The only downside to mealtimes is that we must eat in silence. We are all in different cabins and eat in silence so I really miss socializing with the group. We all feel disconnected. So yesterday we took a break from the intense yoga and meditation classes and went into Rishikesh. It was a rather touristy area but the markets were fabulous and the prices were good. Sometimes I realize that it is rather silly of me to be haggling over 50 cents off an item but we get caught up in the moment and really do not like the feeling of being ripped off. Over all I think Rishikesh has been good for me. I'm hoping to take some of the habits and disapline home with me.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The other day we visited the Golden Temple! It was really amazing – like, a gold temple at the end of a bridge over a huge pool of water. We went with another group of Indian students from the tourism department of a collage in Amritsar. It turned out they weren’t the greatest tour guides but it was still neat to interact with people our own age. It was really difficult to be in a group that large in a busy place. It just took forever for us to just walk around because the professors would stop every ten steps and try to get us all to listen to something or another. It was a bit useless for me because none of the information sunk in. It was also super hot and being barefoot on hot marble all day was stressful in itself. One of the best parts of the day was Langa. It is the free lunch that is given to anyone that visits a Sikh temple. At the Golden Temple they feed 300000 people a day! That’s 1000 people every 15 minutes! It was quite the experience. We had to wait to get in then there was a mad rush to find a spot on the floor. We sat in long lines and had food dumped on our plates. It was way too much food for me. It was all over very fast so the next rush could come. I’ve really gotten better with the food here. It’s actually gotten more appitising as the trip goes on. I’m still craving north American food though.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We then went to the Taj Mahal! It was soo exciting! We got to go inside. The inside was really beautiful but alot smaller than I imagined. The outside was huge. All the marble has precious stones inlayed to make the patterns on the walls. It was great but we had the same problem again; everywhere we went there were men taking videos and just staring. We all got a little more aggresive by the end.Dealing with the vendors outside the gates was another problem. We were swarmed. If you make eye contact they just latch on and follow you down the street. It was really an unenjoyable experience. We were so tired by the time we got home. It was almost 2 am. We had the next morning off to sleep in. On monday afternoon we were at the Canadian Embassy! It was really neat. We met with Rick Westhead, a reporter from the Toronto Star who has been living in India for 2 years. It was really cool. We all wished we could of talked to him all evening because he had so many stories and has been places that I couldn't dream of going. We also had a presentation from the Canadian High Commissioner. They are making a facebook page and will be adding our group blog to it! In the evening we went to some shrines and a private Qawwal concert. Here is a link to the group we saw. http://www.merajnizami.com/ It was really magical to be in India, in a shrine, having a private concert from one of the most famous singers of Qawwal music. Then we went for beer and a pizza and that was amazing. I am really craving some american food.
This morning we caught an early train to Amritsar. We are staying at Guru Nannak Dev University. The rooms are huge and clean. It's great. We'll have alot more free time here to recover from our busy stay in Delhi.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
I bought a pair of cute shoes the other day. It feels wierd that I will not be able to wear them for 3 months.