Summer time, and the livin’ is easy

Epaphroditus Haggis (Charming Sausage) – a.k.a. Gus and Fiona Fledermaus (Princess Bat- it’s the ears) – a.k.a. Princes Fi, a.k.a. Missy Fi enjoy an afternoon of rompin’ good time in the afternoon heat and sun.

This afternoon’s interlude is brought to you by Corgi – if it’s gotta be mine, it’s gotta have bench legs…


We interrupt your regularly scheduled busy weekend for this special musical interlude

Out of Delhi and into the Stans

The third full day in India began with a six a.m. wake up call, down for breakfast by six-thirty, and ready to board the bus to leave by seven-thirty.  Because of traffic leaving Delhi it was important that we roll out early – otherwise it would have taken us hours just to clear the city.  This early morning thing was to become the theme of the trip.  Usually to beat the heat, but sometimes it was to beat the crowds as well.  We didn’t mind.  We didn’t travel half way around the world to sleep – sleep can be had at home.

This day was to be primarily a road day – ultimate destination Jaipur – but as is OAT’s pattern, there were some very interesting and frankly wonderful adventures to be had along the way.  But first, the first half of the road trip.  So much to see!  We began to see and learn about the life and culture of Indians who live outside the major cities.  Almost the moment we left the city we began to see so many amazing things.
Like dozens and dozens of smokestacks from brick kilns – probably hundreds to be honest.  Not much to look at here, but they were a part of what we saw all along the trip even up into Nepal.
At the border of each state of India we had to stop and the bus driver’s helper had to take a list of all the foreigners on the bus to some both.  At each of these stops there would be vendors ready to sell us trinkets – bangles, necklaces, postcards, little stuff. Most of the time the price would end up being 100 rupees (about $2.50) or maybe 200 rupees (necklaces).
On the topic of these street vendors let me fill you in on a few realities of life in India.  It might seem that this sort of constant pressure to buy something would be irritating, and at times it was, but India is a very poor country with a population of around 1.2 billion and a massive poverty rate.  These guys could be begging – at least they are trying to make an honest living and because of that fact I didn’t mind their ubiquitous presence.  It is also this fact that kept us from bargaining too hard.
As for begging children, I told you earlier that we agreed not to give the children money, or even candy.  Here is why – all of these children are put on the street by adults who take their money from them as soon as you give it to the child.  Also, these children need to be in school so that they can build a better life.  School of some form is available to all of them.  But even children of modest means will beg instead of going to school if they can convince the tourists to give them money.  Those giving a few rupees here and there are dooming the children to a life of begging.  Karni asked us to please not fall for the tricks these often cleaver children employed.  I watched Karni deal with one after another as he would ask them “why aren’t you in school?”  Without exception they would reply that they go to school but that school is out today.  He told us he’d been getting these same replies from the same children for years and regardless of what time of year or day of week.  There was one boy who very cleverly told us he “collects American coins” – haha – in perfect English.  Karni told me this boy can say the same thing in perfect French, Spanish, Chinese,  Japanese…. basically any language you can name.  Obviously a bright boy wasting his future for a few easy rupees and he’ll never learn a trade.
So anyway, on with the picture show
Village after village
Almost as soon as we got into Rajasthan, the state with Jaipur, we began to see camel carts.
This picture shows a family of five on a motorcycle – can you make out all five of them? There is the head of a small boy just visible in front of the father who is driving, then you can just see the white shoulder and orange scarf on the young girl next to the mother in blue and red, then the young boy in her lap. A common sight.
Isn’t she gorgeous?  Those eyes!  She was as interested in us as we were in her.  She’s all done up for a wedding – hennaed hands.  People in cars, trucks, and buses were always interacting with us as we went along.  Smiling, laughing, waving, taking our pictures, inviting us to take theirs.
One of many forms of public transportation – seriously.
You know you’re going slow when the camel carts are passing you…
In front of most all “truck stops” and at the beginning of most small villages there were these communal water tanks.  As we passed every single one there would be men bathing – and often children as well – (they keep their underwares on), brushing their teeth, washing their clothes – all together, all from the same tank, all right there on the side of the road.  You can see their clothes on the line, drying in the sun.
At one point we began seeing masses of people converging.

They were headed to see the yogi – holy man – seen on the posters there on the side of the yellow building.  He is going to do yoga for them and then preach? teach?

These are the temporary structures that were built to hold the crowds coming to see him.  This is all out basically in the countryside.

You can see some of the masses and the cars gathered.  The parked cars and people extended for a mile or more in both directions.

One of the sights I found most beautiful were all the women working in the fields in their bright sarees.  I bet the women outnumbered the men 10:1 when it came to working in the fields – or anywhere else for that matter.

It was time to harvest the wheat.

This is pretty typical of the villages we passed through.  Cows in the road…
Just after this point we stopped for lunch and a walk through a bustling small town.  I’ll share all of that in the next post.  Enough of the vacation slide show for one post.

Second day – interrupted, finally completed…


Continuing along with both the last post of the second full day in India (still in Delhi) and figuring out how to use this new WP blog site – after the Art Museum we headed to one more site of old – 1450 to 1530 ish – muslim ruins.  Again the area is preserved as a park, a calm and quiet green space in the midst of a bustling city full of people.  I was impressed with the number of parks the Indians have set aside in such a large, populace city.  This park is called the Lodi Gardens and contains several beautiful old tombs and mosques surrounded by grassy lawns, flower gardens, shady paths, and lots of birds.  There isn’t really a lot to say about this garden – the pictures can do most of the talking.

 Loved looking up into the domes.

There were families and groups of friends sharing picnics, walking the beautiful paths, enjoying the cool within the old monuments

The buildings were as interesting inside as they were outside.

Loved the interaction between the arches and angles.  If this is what they look like five hundred years later, they must have been breathtaking when they were still in use.

Loads of beautiful flowers lined the walkways, framed the buildings and spread as gardens in front of some of the tombs.

There was a small bonsai garden set aside near the entrance to the park – bonsai fascinates me.

So, by the end of this second day, as we ride back to our hotel to prepare for another yummy Indian dinner – the boy finally hit the end of his rope. This young man almost never falls asleep while riding, he is and always has been one of those kids who fights sleep as long as possible. Always afraid he will miss something.  At this point the thirty minutes of sleep claimed him.

For the record – I am still struggling with WordPress so what I have done with this post is compose it at Blogger, then hopefully transfer it to the WP address.  I am having a devil of a time working my pictures into the posts the way I want at WP.


Having a little trouble figuring out how to get my pictures and text to work for the next India post – But I believe in myself and I’ll keep trying and trying and soon I’m sure I’ll be able to ride a bike!

ps – I understand there my be ads visible on my blog. I don’t see any but I’m not a fan and eventually I’ll try to get rid of them – either way, I’m not getting any dollars for any that might be seen and since I have no idea what they might be selling, I make no endorsement for any product seen here…