*I took a jeep safari in corbett and saw wild elephant herds. It was awesome. We saw other stuff too, but I only cared about elephants and tigers. No tiger sightings, unfortunately, but one of our jeeps was charged by elephants. that was exciting.
*On our 14 hour bus ride from corbett to agra, our bus was stopped and blackmailed 3 times. I don't know if blackmailed is the right word. It's not. Basically people would jump in front of the bus and demand a certain amount of money or threaten to do bad things like- knock out our windshield etc. I tried to sleep for most of it, but i think one of them broke off our windshield wipers and it was raining something crazy. Monsoon has come early this year and taken everyone by surprise. All the locals I've talked to have said they've never seen it come this early. I can't believe our bus made it through some of the flooded towns. I have pictures of kids wading though the water to get to us for cookies and bananas out the window. There isn't a sewage system, just open ditches on the side of the road (delhi is a little better). So when it rains and floods, so does the sewage. And that's what you're walking through. Kind of makes me wish I'd gotten a few more vaccines.
*Did the touristy Taj Majal- which was nice but not really a highlight in my eyes. It was pretty. It was also extremely hot. The best thing was really the pushy kids following you around trying to sell stuff.
- "Allo, allo please mam. I am not cheating you, I promise this. 3 for 50. ok,ok, 4 for 50. ok, ok, mam, 5 for 50..."
-"no habla ingles."
So the kid starts speaking spanish.
-"parlez vous francaise?"
And the kid starts speaking french!
_"ooh la la madam..."
We found out that he spoke enough english, spanish, french, japanese, chinese, and german to carry on a conversation with global potential key chain buyers. An 8 year old kid! I guess you're pretty bright when your survival depends on it. For this, Ryan gave him money. he didn't really want the keychains, but the kid forced them into his hand.
*Got stranded on the side of the highway in Delhi. It was actually pretty easy to hail a cab-in the middle of a crazy highway. it's good and not so good to know they'll stop.
*I am very excited to leave for jaipur in 2 days. we finally booked our jaipur/varanasi/nepal trip. Still working on Goa and Mumbai. I'm spending the first 2 weeks with 2 other people and then taking a 3rd class sleeper back to delhi. this will be interesting. A bit of advice, if you're coming to India in the summer, book your train tickets in advance. There is just about nothing available several weeks ahead of time. this is why I will be taking a 13 hour train with no a.c. solo, sleeper class. I was lucky to get that. kate is leaving me her chain and lock for the train rides. I'm wondering if I'll be able to travel much once the monsoon is in full swing. That was some crazy flood water.
*You guys should rent "Dhoomed 2." It's really good. I think you can skip the first one. the hero of the film has 2 thumbs on one hand. Trying to spot them is a good game to play while you watch, so I won't tell you which hand.