The Wolfpack Files

My Life in My Words

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

India 2006

I have returned from India with many pictures but sadly, no wife. It amazes me how people over there are always talking about wanting to find me someone, yet no one actually does anything about it. The best they could do is find a girl from Bangalore who would have flown up to meet me. Excuse me? There are somewhere around 15 million people in Delhi, with who knows how many others in the immediate area around the capital city, yet out of all those people, the closest girl they could find was a 2-hour flight away? I nixed the idea of her flying up because that would be a bit too much pressure. How bad would I feel if she flew all that way only for us to take one look at each other and say, umm, no, I don't think so. So, I spent most of my two weeks with family.

Within the first 3 days of landing, I went through 4 family dinner/lunches. Most of my family live in an area called Noida, which is just outside of Delhi. It's a huge up and coming area. Back when my family invested in land there and built two identical 3-story apartment buildings, there was literally nothing else around. All you'd see is empty land for miles, then suddenly two buildings, then nothing. Within a few years however, there were apartments everywhere, along with shopping areas and now malls and golf courses. You name it, Noida has it. So in one building live two families from my father's side, and in the other building there's one from my father's side and now one from my mother's side. Talk about family togetherness. It does make it a lot easier to see everyone, but that also means they're always there. This trip wasn't all that bad though. All the cousins I have on my father's side are older than me and all have kids (the oldest being 20!) and I tend to get along with kids better. And then the two cousins I have that are younger than me are my favorite people in the world, so that's always a good time. When we weren't holding family gatherings, the girls and I would go out to dinner, go shopping, play pool at one of their friend's apartments and one night we went out drinking.

In the middle of all that, my parents and I took a 4 day trip to the cities of Udaipur and Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan. Simply saying how incredible everything looked would be an understatement. At the bottom of this blog I'll post a link to the pictures I took while there and you can see what I'm talking about. Oh, and if you're a guy, please keep the comments on the relative attractiveness of my female family members to yourself. While in Udaipur, we stayed in a palace on a lake. The lake has four natural islands and on one of them, then built a palace/hotel which takes up literally the entire island. The only way on and off is on a boat. And lucky me, they don't allow cots in bedrooms, so I got a room to myself. There must have been 2-3 people working there for every guest, so everyone knew my name and they would all stop and wish me a good day whenever I walked past. If you ever want to go some place and feel like royalty, the Taj Lake Palace is the place to go. In Jodhpur we stayed in an actual palace which is still used by the royalty there. The rooms weren't as nice, but the sheer size of the place was overwhelming. We were taken to our rooms and an hour later when we tried to get to dinner, we got lost.

As per usual, my relatives all kept giving me money to buy stuff with. Normally I never buy anything because I never need/want anything, but this trip I decided to spend. Nothing major, but cheesy fun stuff. I bought a watch which my Masi (Aunt) said reminded her of Batman. I got a box with camels on it, which I now use to store my incense. I got an Egyptian sarcophagus which, when you open it up, has a mummy inside of it. One of my cousins works for a TV station as a dresser/consultant, so she knows a tailor who works quickly and does a good job, so through her I got 2 suits made in about 4 days at a total cost of around $150. Can I tell you how much I love the exchange rate? At one point we had two bathrooms with issues, so my Masi called a plumber over. He came, spent about 20 minutes working, fixed both bathrooms and charged 200 rupees. That's less than $4! Are you kidding me? Can you imagine how much it would have cost here for that to happen? She said, but you can't translate it back to dollars, here 200 rupees is a lot. But I paid 900 rupees for a backpack just a day earlier. You're telling me a backpack is worth 4.5 times as much as a plumber? That amazed me. So back to my shopping... I also got some little things like a belt buckle with The Godfather logo on it, some pillow covers, a couple of keychains, and this big tapestry of the Taj Mahal with glitter on it.

I'm sure I'm missing something, but all in all, I had a pretty good time. I didn't want to leave, but I knew I had to and get back to my life. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go back soon. Right now I'm on a 5-year streak of seeing my cousins and I'd prefer that didn't end in 2007.

And now, as I promised, the link to all the pictures I took. Let me know what you think!

India 2006 - The Pictures


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