India Day 3: Agra

21 Nov

We got up at 5 to catch the train to Agra. The train was first class with a/c and breakfast which consisted of tea, toast and jam and a veggie cutlet.
We arrived at Agra at 830 and were immediately accosted for tours or taxis. We agreed to take a cab tour for 8 hours only to be told once in the car that the price for the guide was separate. The guide was already in the car so…we agreed.
First stop: the one and only Taj Mahal. Everyone has heard how fantastic it is and they are right. I kept¬† thinking how unfair it was that I didn’t have my DSLR camera to photograph with.

After an hour or so there, we got taken to a rug shop. We were very angry that he took us to shops and we told him.
He admitted that just by taking us to these places he gets perks like sweets and stuff. He pretty much guilted us into wasting an hour/hour and a half on seeing shops and pretending to be interested.

We went for a nice Indian lunch then headed to the Agra Fort. This was where the royal families lived and where King Shah Jahan died captive of his son. The guide then said the tour was over and we still had three hours. Annoyed, we said he had to show us other things so we saw the back of the Taj. It was further, but beautiful and much more quiet. On our way back to the car we found a big group of adorable puppies who let us play with them.

Taj

After paying our guide and realizing that he, too was a crook (more on that here) we were dropped to the train station an hour early only to find out our train was an hour late. The train ended up leaving at 8 and we didn’t arrive in Jaipur till 1 am.

This train was a sleeper, and what an experience that was! Surprisingly there were a number of tourists on it – the young, hippie type, but it was pretty miserable. Every second someone would walk or crawl by asking for money or selling something, screaming loudly. The stops were very long and I caught germs and got a cold/flu/bronchial infection.

When we arrived in Jaipur, as everywhere else, tons of rickshaw drivers offered us rides. We finally went with a sweet young boy who looked about 15 but claimed to be 22. The five minute ride to our hotel was such fun as our young boy was quite dynamic.

Rickshaw driver: Which country is suffering without you?
A&T: Canada
RD: Justin Bieber!
A: you like Bieber??
RD: No, I hate him.
A: Oh, you’re just jealous. We love him.
RD:i There’s gonna be one less lonely girl…
A&T: hahaha
RD: Baby, baby, baby, ooh like baby, baby, baby, ooh like baby, baby, baby, ooh thought you’d always be mine.

Then he started dancing and wiggljng and jiggling while driving and continued the song. Tara and I joined in at parts unit hr got to Ludacris’s rap where he stopped and said “it sounds like ‘dadafadadDaDa above'” and continued “you got me going crazy oh I was star struck…”
Once he completed the song, he went on to sing ‘Boyfriend until we arrived at our hotel.
Funniest rickshaw ride ever.

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