From Asia to Africa
30.07.2011 - 05.08.2011
Ok, so after 1.5 years I’M HOME!! WOOOHOOO!! :-) The only person in SA who knew was my brother, so my parents were really surprised to see us. When we landed I almost cried with joy! Damn it’s fantastic to be home! Never before have I appreciated space and clear blue skies and smiling fellow South Africans! Being away has made me realize that the “over there” is not greener then “over here”- so I am looking forward to experiencing my country with new eyes.
Here’s what we did in our last week in India:
From the cool misty mountains we entered hot and humid Dehra Dun, where we stayed for just one night. To pass the time we went and watched the new Harry Potter movie- great stuff! The following morning we woke up at 4am and took an early train to Delhi. We braved the crowds and touts and found a place to stay. Later in the evening we met up with Nitin and Julie for dinner and a beer. I don’t know what it was- either the food or the combination with the cheap beer- but in the early hours of the following morning everything came up and out. Amanda also got sick, but no one else. So we don’t know what was up with this….
For the next few days we just chilled. Esther (Amanda’s friend from Korea) flew into Delhi on Monday night- so it was fun to have another girl in our gang! On Tuesday we hired a taxi and went to see the Taj Mahal. Now I don’t know what it “wrong” with me, but to be absolutely honest I wasn’t that impressed with it (or should I say- I was totally blown away). Maybe it was the time of day I went, or my mood or the heat that played a role in forming my opinion of it. Don’t get me wrong- it is a beautiful architectural achievement and I am happy I went. But the overpriced entrance ticket ($18) including a scam I discovered- kinda ruined the experienced. (When we gave our tickets to the ticket-man he took all 4 of them- without tearing a part off. He just waved us on. I saw him place the brand new tickets “discreetly” under a piece of cardboard (to be resold later) - I immediately saw red and demanded him to give the tickets back. Thinking I am an idiot- he gave us back tickets that had seen better days. I begin to shout at him- “dude I can see exactly what you are doing! Do you think I am stupid?” I was so angry! He played dumb and there was nothing else I could do. I was very disappointed in India that day- that even visiting something as special as the Taj Mahal can turn into something ugly.
The next day we said goodbye to Amanda and Esther :- (they took a train to Varanasi) Angie and I took a fancy train to Mumbai. The other 2 times we took trains we were in the lower class, but this time we were with the richer Indians and the difference between the educated and uneducated Indians is as great as night and day! No one stared at us, no one tried to pinch our asses, no one gave us dirty looks! It was so normal! We got some meals served to us and were also given clean sheets and pillows.
Mumbai is also extremely different compared to Delhi. No one really took any notice of us! The guys just walked past us like we were Indians, no one hassled us to take a taxi (they asked and we said no and they walked away). I fought with no one! Yahh! :-). The architecture is so European- so I felt like I was in Paris or something. The buildings were completed and painted. The streets were relatively clean (no cows!) and people seemed more cultured and educated. The public buses were easy to use as were the city trains. We were only there for one day and so we never saw the “other side” of Mumbai, but the picture I saw was really impressive!
So this concludes my Asian life and blog. I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks for reading :-).
Until the next adventure- Peace and Love