- The People.
Super friendly people everywhere that just want to chat. To ask where you’re from, how long you’re here, tell you about their city, the culture. It was amazing – true genuine hospitality and friendliness. Everywhere!
- Diwali Lights.
It is the festival of lights and, boy, do they decorate accordingly! There are Christmas lights everywhere – it’s really festive and puts you in a fun mood. And while the strings of lights were cool, my favorite part were the little candle flames everywhere giving off this warm glow.
- Rick is a celebrity. Photo ops!
We had a lot of folks asking to take photos with us. It was quite funny to us. And as soon as we would say okay to one guy, there were 10 more that appeared wanting pictures too! Like they were just waiting for the first brave guy to ask. We humored just about everyone that asked… even when it meant we were standing around for photos for 15 minutes. And we just get a picture with them too – because, why not? It’s fun… but the staring does get a little weird after a while. Crazy eyes!
- Party Cows.
We call them Party Cows – they were painted and decorated for Diwali and all over the streets. There were also Party Donkeys, Party Goats… pretty much if you could get it to stand still for long enough, it was painted!
“Party until the cows come home” – uh oh, I think the cows came home. Knock, knock.
- Jaipur Shopping Festival.
In celebration of Diwali, Jaipur has a huge shopping festival. The stores decorate their store fronts with crazy elaborate scenes – it’s like NYC at Christmas.
Popular Indian night club? Nope, just people waiting to get into the temple for Diwali.
Ok, I know that’s three things for Diwali, but it was so fun! Everyone was super friendly on the “big night” of Diwali Oct 23 when we were in Jairpur. Cheery people shouted down the street at us “Happy Diwali”… came out of houses to tell us “Happy Diwali”.There are also poo sculptures involved. Not so sure on what these mean or what they are for (or if it’s real poo), but all over the streets on the 24th there were little “gingerbread man” sculptures made of poop.
- Street Food.
The best food we’ve had on the trip so far! Street food in India is delicious. From dahl and chapatis, to lassis, to samosas with curry flavors inside. We basically never really know what it is, but if it’s popular with the locals and there’s a line in front of the cart, we’re in! The flavors have been incredible.
We are in Delhi until this evening, so more street food is in our near future!
Absolutely stunning sunsets. Everyday. So the cause may not be so sexy… I think a lot of it has to do with the pollution, but the results are amazing.
Lots and lots of palaces. I think Udaipur had the best ones! We spent 4-5 days in Udaipur, it’s a beautiful city, said to be the most romantic city in India. I can see why, it’s set on a couple of lakes and has beautiful palaces surrounding the lake, and even in the middle of the lake.
- Marwari Horses.
I loved getting to ride them so much, it’s a separate post.
The trains are awesome. You can get everywhere by train… and it’s like a moving hotel if you get an overnight one (awesome for us budget travelers!). And it’s a nice, comfy hotel – I think I got my best sleep on the trains in India. And you wake up and you’re in your next destination.
It really is beautiful how intricate the designs are.
- Taj Mahal.
Pretty impressive place.
- Elephants and camels everywhere.
- Tuk tuk rides.
Always an adventure – but far better than to be in one, than dodging them on the street, they can be ruthless.
Pay up, buddy! No free ride here!
- Rooftop cafes.
- “Everything is possible!” … and “it’s not possible”
We heard both. A LOT. We made a wonderful friend in Agra who took care of us at his rooftop restaurant every night we were there. The first time we walked in we were greeted warmly and told “what would make you happy? Everything is possible!”
On the flip side, when someone here wants to say no to your request (like “May I take a picture of your shop?” or “May I have another beer?” near closing time)… the answer is a very proper sounding “Not possible.” It’s very disarming…. We’ve come to find it kind of endearing and funny now. But there’s a little part of me that always wants to argue, “It’s not really that it’s ‘not possible’, sir. I think what you really mean is you don’t want to!”
We have one last day in India to enjoy the wonderful culture, people, sights and flavors.