Update 1/18 - 1/26
I haven't put my pictures together yet, so in an effort to be efficient, here's a link to the top posts, and then I'll follow up with more later. :)
or a more comprehensive compilation: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/a05qjq4fmd6smig/AABfwZPB7Hx1aBlWGZhVBPCza
Zach (looking at a carved elephant trinket): Something like this takes so much work and it's spent on something worthless.
A couple getting photographed with the Taj behind them.
Kelly: Shana thinks that is an engagement shoot.
Me: or the first look. Like ever.
Zach: I feel like the Taj Mahal is like if charlie chapman was a building
Tom: Bad luck for choosing the wrong gender.
Tom, Kelly, Zach and I went to the Taj at sunrise. We were driven by a guy who, during the course of the day had 5 different modes of transportation, but was always wearing a beanie that simply had "BOYS" written on it.
Me: Why don't you go Jimmy those doors open
Zach: alright! That sounds like a great way to get kicked out of the country, but not before a sound beating.
Kelly: that lady was not happy about you disrespecting this place
Zach: sure, but I didn't get kicked out of the country so... Success!
After being followed around by a photographer at the Taj
Tom: that was Zach's muse or rather Zach was his muse Zach; they are afraid of the police bc the police will beat the shit out of you.
Tom: oh look you can buy a book or a spider.
(after seeing a large display case that only had one book and one large spider in it.)
Zach: so I followed the path up and there was a dark corridor with just on guy sitting on a stool with an AK47 and, instead of startling him, I ran out of there so fast.
groaning after posing on our knees
Ebony: You should come work out with me.
Ebony's friend: Negative
Zach: what is he saying?
Guy: if you aren't a licensed photographer I won't just prosecute you I'll beat the shit out of you.
After posing with some more strangers
Me: I don't understand it.
Zach: what's not to understand? We're a freak show.
People were constantly asking us to take pictures with them - but none more than the one and only Shana, whose tattoos and brightly colored hair was a spectacle. I thought it was simply because everything was so bright, but after talking to one guy, I realized the cost of getting so many tattoos was also a sign of her immense wealth. The paparazzi was in full force.
Zach rode a camel, as in jumped on a camel mid carriage ride, but I couldn't take a picture because there was a dead body being carried through the street. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating facts.
At one point, Zach left his phone in a car. I think he would have preferred to lose his wallet.
Kelly: Did Zach get his phone back?
Tom: yeah "Boys" gave it to him.
Zach and I went to Agra fort alone for a late night adventure. There was a "show" scheduled, but I know we showed up for the wrong time, but because we were there, I think they switched to English. This was great for us, but ended up causing the other 15 people to leave before the end.
Fellow traveler: You speak English really well. Did you go to an America school?
Young man: No, we have schools in India.
While we were Rathambore, I ended up getting really sick with a fever, so that day I can't say I was in the best mood. But we did go on Safari. I really wanted to see a Sloth because I thought that was me keeping my expectations low. Only, it turns out they don't have sloths, they have sloth bears that are harder to find than tigers.
Traveler 1: Deer! deer!
Traveler 2: I have those in my backyard.
After looking at a box on the jeep that only had a symbol on it.
Zach: Either Finland or first aid can be found in there.
Kelly: Tom locked me in the courtyard. He said it happened on its own but I still had to climb the wall.
Russian Traveler: Ten percent loss of tourists is normal on every trip.
While visiting a local village:
Guide: What do you think this is?
Shana: I didn't say it!
Ram (originally from India): People don't use condoms here!
One family in the village invited us into their home, and made us Chai tea and biscuits.
Shana & Vance danced with one of the older gentlemen
Shana: everyone has that uncle and its him!
Ebony: I think it would be rude to pay for the rest of the biscuits.
Ebony's friend: But if you over pay that's just consumerism.
Ebony's friend: I thought mulberry was a type of hand bag.
Ebony: When I got checked by TSA I counted every single one of my Capri suns to make sure they were all there.
Me (about the people we visited): they seem so happy
Ebony: you would be too if you were home on a Friday.
At one of the stops on the trip:
Ebony: I got a mars bar because life is hard and then you die
Me: And also you wanted a Mars bar.
Ebony: I took my kids to Disney, and it's really hot in July. I didn't care though, I made them keep walking around the park all day now when I ask, You guys want to go to Disney? They reply:
Russian Traveler: I've got good story about soup. This guy who had put his dad in a nursing home, decided he wanted to do something special for his lonely dad on his 90th birthday. He called an escort service and said, "I want you to give my dad SUPER SEX!" the clerk replied, "I have just the woman." So right after lunch his dad was relaxing in his room watching Jeopardy, when this beautiful woman walked in his room and said, "I'm here to give you super sex" the old man said, "I'll take the soup."
Overheard on the bus by a couple
Husband: Our problem is we have too much family
Wife: We don't have too much family
Husband: Even one person is too much
Wife: We are blessed
There is no other way to say this, some people in our group are remedial.
We get to this palace with these historically significant metal canisters and Shana in the voice of the count says "two silver pots ha ha ha"
Kelly: I'm excited to see someone else break a bone.
Tom: I've never seen someone break a bone playing cricket.
Me: you've never seen Rhonda play.
Zach: it's always interesting on the wrong side of the road
Me: interesting is a word I wouldn't use.
Tom: I can't wait to do this again but on a motor bike. You can be on the back of my bike
Kelly: I'll just meet you at each city in the world spree bus.
Tom: a day and a half later.
Kelly: I want to tour the country in one of those water pipe engine trucks
Tom: you don't need to get anywhere quickly just loudly and inefficiently.
Oh yeah, I should have mentioned. When we stopped at the stair well, we were also corralled into a water pipe engine truck and paraded around one of the villages for their amusement, which we totally deserved.
Zach and I were not huge fans of listening to the tour guide, so instead, we listened to a pod cast called "There's no such thing as a Fish." It was hilarious. I found out later though, that we might have laughed at some inappropriate moments, like when Som was explaining the caste system.
Som: You look like you'd want to eat in a palace.
We went to this "Palace" hotel, and had a fancy dinner. That's also when we sat next to Stephen Fry. I did not ask him if he was going to any good parties, even though I'm sure some of our other travelers would have if they had been with us.
We also went to a fancy dinner at the Amber Fort & Palace. Unfortunately we totally didn't time it right so Tom was concerned about the cab driver who was supposed to pick us up and wasn't able to enjoy his meal. He was pretty upset the following day as well. I found out much later, actually while we were in the palace at Jaipur, that the reason why he was so upset was because Kelly told him, "Don't be a Rhonda" our least fav person on the trip. Rough.
Rhonda: "I'll tell you to stop when I want to get out and shop for jewelry"
Som: "And now we'll go out of our way to drop Shana and Vance off"
Tom: Minito (the driver) is my idol
Me; Seriously? He hit a cow twice today.
Tom: Just a tap to get him moving along.
I think I actually started into the next week, and I didn't really explain at all what we did in India. So here's my quick summary for those who like details.
We went from Delhi - Agra- Ranthambore - Jaipur to Bejiing (which is the next update.)
We went to Gandhi Smriti, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi where he spent his last days. Baby Taj, Humayun's tomb & Jamma Mosque and Agra Fort. We had Hi-Tea at Castle Kanota, (a location in the film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"), Ranthambore National Park for the safari ride, and also a visit to a local village. The Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, where we rode an elephant up to the top of the fort. And we saw Hawa Mahal in the pink city. We rode a rickshaw, a tuk tuk, and elephant, a jeep, a bus, a camel and a crazy truck bed. We fed cows for luck, we drank local rum (I think) lots of Indian food, basically had an awesome time. And I only needed to use me She-pee once!
More on china soon!