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Jaganshi (profile) wrote,
on 7-31-2006 at 10:06pm
Subject: Went to India for two weeks for a school trip.
I'm back. Our studies in ayurveda are basically going to bore you, so I won't bother you with those. Our touristy stuff I can tell you later.

I can give you a fairly good representation of one crazy day in India.

We were on our way from Delhi to Agra in a rented A/C taxi. Dr. Bauman had been chatting with the driver in Hindi, because that way they rip you off less and are less inclined to drive you to places you don't want to go just to get a commission from some shopkeeper in case you buy something.

He passed a roadside rather-shady poll collector. It's hard to tell the government officials because they look just like local people who are simply pissed that a road was built and want to take your money to get back at The Man. He passed it, but thought better of it and went back after driving about half a mile down the road. We were left in the middle of a dusty road full of other vehicles.

Dr. Bauman turns around. "So, since it's been a while since the first time I was here, what are you guys really finding interesting now that you're here?"

"What's interesting?" was the general response. "What do you mean, have we seen anything interesting?"

Then, the circus began.

A woman approached the car with a handful of beaded necklaces. "Beads, madam. Madam. Madam. Hello." She tapped on the window. She called through the window. She clinked the beads against the glass window where they rattled and clattered and jingled. No amount of telling her no in English or Hindi would dissuade her.

A man walked by on the side of the road followed by two bears on leashes.

By this point we were laughing hysterically, far too involved in how rediculous this was to actually pay attention to how many rupees the necklace woman wanted.

A fakir arrived on the scene, fully arrayed in robes, turban and beard, coming from behind the car with monkeys trailing behind. One or more of them leapt up on our van, clinging to my window (Reread. MY WINDOW.) and gyrating violently in a distinctly sexual manner. We now had the beadwoman, two bears, and a humping monkey seven inches from my face. The laughter contined.

When the fakir noticed that we remained unenticed by his monkey, the animal disappeared. He crept up to my window and began stroking it muttering something about rupees. I looked up and we all collapsed in laughter again. Noticing we still hadn't opened our window and given him money, he raised up to the window a damn cobra. A cobra, people. As Dr. McGrath said, "If he thinks showing us the snake is the best way to get us to roll down the window he has really misjudged his audience!"

The tears flowed, the laughter continued. Still probably not the reaction he was hoping for, but he really didn't want to give up.

Then our driver came back to rescue us as a clown (yes, a clown, in full getup and a plastic clown mask) walked down the street away from us. I guess someone told him that the circus was over and the foreigners were on the move.

See anything interesting, Bauman?

Nah. Who are you kidding. *whistles generic circus theme and walks away with her hands in her pockets*
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