When you think you have seen everything, along comes India.
Just back from two weeks in India that ended with thirty-six hours of flying from Udaipur to Delhi to New York to Boston, it’s hard to sort out the real from the surreal. All of the reading about India and all of the movies about it did not prepare us for the press of people, the mothers begging for rupees for the tightly wrapped babies in their arms, the streets with their endless symphony of honking horns. Cows and goats and elephants and camels and pedestrians and rickshaws and motorcycles and buses are on the roads. Nothing prepared us for the aggressive hawkers at every tourist spot. Nothing prepared us for the majestic Taj Mahal.
Nothing prepared us for the crush of the Metro where every rider must go through a metal detector and where there is a special waiting place and a special car for women.
And there is the mud and the dust that gets in your eyes, your throat, your clothing from the streets that have no sidewalks.
There is the stunning yellow, orange, green, red, purple and pink of the sarees, speckled with sparkles. There is the heavily turmeric-spiced food (delicious) and dozens of wonderful vegetarian dishes. There is the spirituality of the country exemplified by the nightly chanting of the priests on the banks of the Ganges and the cremation ceremonies there each morning and the temples and mosques that dot the cities.
There are forts and palaces and more history than can be absorbed.
It has to be seen to be believed.