Wonderful Host in Agra - Uncle Naveen
Thank you Agra!

marsha's first impressions of India

Well I'm not in Kansas anymore that's for sure!!! We've been in India for two weeks now. The first week we spent in Ludhiana visiting Arjun's grandmother and getting fat!!! The food was incredible. For every afternoon tea, Arjun's grandmother had something new for us to try...gulab jaman, jellybi, samosas...Then it was on to Delhi to stay with Manju Aunty. Again we were in luxury and treated like royalty. Reality hit the first day on our own. We headed to Agra. Naveen Uncle picked us up at that trainstation and helped us find our guesthouse. After a rest, we walked through the busy streets to Agra Fort where we met Uncle's driver. We went to Uncle's 500 yr old home for an incredible lunch. 500 yrs here in India isn't much but for those of us from a newly established country...That was it for the day...The next day we went to the Taj Mahal. That place really is something to see...Just getting through the door was a harrassing experience...postcards, guides, can't bring in this or that....During these first days, I was ready to pack up,head to Delhi, book a plane ticket and come home. The heat and humidity alone were enough...add to that the new culture, language barrier, the constant hassle from various "wallahs" for a rickshaw, postcards...ahhhhh.........Since then just been hanging out...I'm getting more acclimatized to everything it seems...I can do more than one or two things a day...it helps that we have had an airconditioned room to retreat to whenever things get too heated. The streets and the bazaars are really something to see. It is the only place in the world (that I know of) where pedestrians, bikes, cars, scooters, cows, dogs, goats, pigs, horses, camels, and even an elephant can move, work and co-exist....The poverty here is shocking...I feel guilty eating when young women with children are standing, watching with their hands out. From the trains, you can see tent towns...literally rows of pup tents along the tracks where people live. Children working during what we consider school time. Even though school only costs 5-10$/month, food is also a huge consideration. We settled our bill this morning 4 days at $50 food, room, phonecalls...A king's ransom to some of these people. Things we take for granted at home. We are heading to Varanassi tonight...considering what I've read in the guide books about this place, I hope I'm really acclimatized. However, I'm determined to move forward and succeed in travelling around India. I've wanted to do this for a long time and I'm not going to give in at this early stage.



Hi Marsha and Arjun!

I've been reading stories and looking at pics in this amazing Wordpad - is that what you called it, Arjun? Well, I will want to know about that before I head off on my travels.

Good for you Marsha, for persevering. It has to take a pile of time to adjust to even the most basic conventions in a new country - never mind sharing space with a pig and a goat and a cow and an elephant at the bazaar! And yes, the poverty is simply so staggering that it must take all your effort just to be in the midst of it, sometimes. Good on you, girl.

So, I see the word POST - does that mean my comments go to everyone on your list? Not that I mind, but enquiring minds want to know.

Cheers, and I love your news pages,

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