|Location: Jaipur, India|
|Local time: Thursday, 2pm|
Some people come to India to find spiritual enlightenment. I must be going to all the wrong places. All I've found is a gunked-up nose and a cough, from the constant pollution.
While in Jaipur, my girlfriend of almost 5 years broke up with me. Crushed and feeling totally alone in a completely foreign environment with nobody to talk to, I think my India trip took a turn for the worse. I've really been unable to enjoy this country any more. Indeed, I find the constant, deafening traffic, pollution, and teeming masses all too stressful, and I'm longing for the open spaces, clean air and green fields of home. And for people that love me.
I'm not inspired to write any more about my travels here. I know many people come to India and fall in love with it. But right now my negative headspace will only taint my views.
Goodbye India. And goodbye my Estonian princess.
The Water Palace. Currently empty, but there are plans to turn it into a 5-star hotel.
Jaipur's Amber Fort, built in the 1600s for the ruling family of Rajasthan at the time.
Tourists ride a brightly-painted elephant towards the Amber Fort. I had to play dodge-the-giant-elephant-turd. An old favourite.
A group of soldiers who (for some unknown reason) all wanted to have their photo taken with me.
A common sight around the country - women carrying heavy loads on their heads. The guys, never.
One of the main gates entering the old city of Jaipur - the pink city.
The Palace of the Winds. Designed so that the royal ladies could watch life on the streets below, whilst being kept cool by the breezes
swirling through the large number of windows.
Millions and millions of souls.
The entrance to the Taj Mahal in Agra (a dirty horrible city with nothing going for it other than the Taj at its centre)
It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahanfor in memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal, in the 1600s. Surely one of the most beautiful
buildings in the world, it is a symbol of one man's pure, eternal love for his lost wife. In my current mental state, the meaning of it was not
lost on me. If it wasn't for the hordes of tourists, it would've been quite moving.
(One thing that was definitely moving was the entry price - 40 rupees for locals, 750 rupees for tourists. And business is booming.)
The word "Mumtaz" has even found its way into modern Hindi slang - when they find something to be amazing, mind-blowing, they totally
love it, they'll say "Mumtaz". I love the romantic symbolism.
The India one-hander.
Up close, the intricate detail is amazing.
The Taj is built beside the sacred Yamuna river. Notice the hazy sky and the lack of a horizon.
Line of sight in or near (ie. within a 100km) of an Indian city is never much more than a kilometer, thanks to the rampant pollution.
One of the hundreds of food vendors you'll find on any major street. I love curry more than most people. But after two per day for the last
two weeks, I'm looking forward to a classic kiwi dinner of steak, chips and salad. And a solid bowel movement would be a nice change.
A typical street scene.
Out in the countryside, there are many of these Beverly Hillbilly style home-made truck/tractors put-putting about.
Normally they're transferring either two cows, or about 30 people.
A typical truck on India's roads, made by the Tata company. They're huge beasts painted in garish colours and have the loudest,
proudest horns, which the drivers are not afraid to use.
The back of each truck normally has a minimum of three messages: "Use dipper at night"; "Wait for side" (whatever that means);
and "Horn Please" (or "Blow Horn"). Personally I think it should be "NO HORN PLEASE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BECAUSE WE
ARE OVER-DOING IT AND SCARING THE WHITE TOURISTS". But I don't think that would fit.
Yet another form of country (and often city) transport.
No idea what it means.
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