Hi. It’s been weeks, I know. I have about a million things I can update you on, but I just don’t have the time (despite having quite a bit of time, actually). Hopefully there will be more posts to come soon, but I just wanted to ramble a bit on my blog rather than my Moleskine, so here goes.

India. Wow I’ve felt a whole range of emotions toward this place in the past 4+ weeks. I loved it, hated it, liked it, was disgusted and impressed by it. Today, I’m somewhere in between, having witnessed a complete and total lack of democracy (legitimate police beating & corruption). Trust me, I’ll write more on that later, don’t worry.

Traveling India with a friend who could speak Hindi was amazing. And it was nice to have a friend this past month because a certain type of homesickness was beginning to kick in. Once I was out on my own, the hassle of being a white person in India became more than overwhelming and I started looking for a way out – Thailand for Christmas? I held off on buying a ticket and, now, I’m a little less likely to leave the country so soon. But I’m leaving the North. It’s too cold, I’ve caught a cold, and I need some time to chill out and relax on the beach. The south is hopefully a bit more peaceful (probably not hassle-free, though) and I could use some time to sit quietly.

I’m not saying that the whole time traveling alone in India was hard and stressful. Just a few days. Thankfully I met some really awesome people…and met up with another close friend from home by semi-coincidence (and a “quick” 12-turned-15-hour train ride). Having good company makes all the difference. Having great company is that much better.

So far in India, I’ve done or seen the following, in pretty much this order:

  • Mumbai – really enjoyed! though I was staying with a family so I had a much different experience than as a tourist
  • Aurangabad/Ajanta/Ellora caves – very cool caves – maybe more impressive than Petra
  • Delhi – seen it two different times and in very different ways
  • Uttar Pradesh – went to two different not-touristic towns with my Indian friend, including seeing three different weddings (2 Hindu, 1 Muslim). Being the poorest and most populated state of India, this was an experience.
  • Washed my hands in the Ganges. Then cleaned them one billion times.
  • Agra – saw the Taj Mahal at sunrise; absolutely hated the town for all the hassle I experienced
  • Overnight train to Khajaharo – met some other backpackers, first big train ride and I survived!
  • Khajaharo – Kama Sutra temples were interesting, but this small, touristic, somewhat-off-the-beaten-path town was peaceful and enjoyable
  • Last minute decision to ditch my pre-booked tickets to Jaipur to instead visit Varnassi where I knew another friend
  • Varnassi – even more hassle than Agra and if I were doing it alone, I’d absolutely hate this place. With 3 awesome friends, it was much more enjoyable
  • Overnight back to Delhi – and here I am.

Wednesday I have a flight to Goa. If I decide to stay in India past Christmas, I have a lot of things I want to see in the south, from fried fish in Kerala, to a tea village in Munnar.

You’ll hear from me again soon. I promise. But, uh, I’m working on India Standard Time, so don’t hold your breath.

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