Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Would you like to meet my palm reader?" --quoth Ari

In my last post, I only touched on the range of our trip. Here's a few more highlights:

-In Jaipur we met Ari, our tour guide, who immediately told that not only was he a member of a 85-member joint family, but that it was truly a "small piece of heaven." He also enjoyed telling us about his blissful life with a woman he married when he was seven and she was three.

One of the first sites we visited in Jaipur was the ancient observatory full of fascinating instruments for telling time and days of the year. I could only describe them as gigantic gadgets for very wealthy boys. This included the world's largest sundial, which loomed over the yard like the stone sail of a ship headed around the world.

--At the Jaipur Palace and museum we confirmed that India's largest carpet is long enough to decorate a football stadium and that Indian men have always dressed well. We also learned that the easiest way to keep the Maharajas straight is to refer to them, as Ari did, as the "skinny one," the "fat one" and the "very good-looking one."

--In the Bahratpur Bird sanctuary, buffalo sometimes wander down the main path like southern ladies taking an evening stroll. The monitor lizards, jackals, antelope, deer, kingfishers, turtles, and cranes were less accommodating.

-- The owner of a carpet shop gave me a free sample and told me to convince my father to buy a pure silk carpet for my dowry. Oh Daddy!

--Even after visiting the India Gate, Ambedkar's tomb, the site of Gandhi's cremation, a 12th century mosque, The Amber Fort, and riding a camel, I was excited to take a shower instead of my usual bucket bath. Sooooo excited.
[Here, we are at the jeweled and mirrored lady's rooms in Amber Fort.]


laura said...

So will I enjoy Delhi, based on your oh-so-scientific experience of it?

wordy_explorer said...

You are going to love it, but you are going to have to go elsewhere to see more cows in the roads.

But seriously, you are going to have a blast!