delhi to pushkar

spent the last couple of days in delhi sightseeing and adjusting to india. we saw the india gate, a few temples, a mosque, the president’s house, an extremely busy outdoor market, and lots of random things along the way that you really don’t see back home … cows, goats, pigs on the side of the road or sometimes in the middle of the road, men peeing wherever they see fit, turbans, people drinking warm milk in 98 degree weather, little boys wearing eye makeup, rickshaws. i believe there is a lot of luck involved in escaping death on the roads of india. much like indonesia, there are no rules …. just a cluster of cars, scooters, rickshaws, big trucks, and tractors doing whatever they want … honking and swerving and trying to pass the next vehicle only to slam on their brakes 3 seconds later. indian people have the same reaction to white skin as do indonesian people. the reaction makes you wonder if they have ever seen a white person before in their entire life, but you know that they probably have, which just leaves you wondering what they’re thinking. sometimes this fascination is endearing … most of the time it’s uncomfortable and exhausting. yesterday, we drove from delhi to pushkar. our driver, raj, got beat up by 3 guys on the way. yes … you read that correctly. we were driving on a highway and these 3 guys on a motorbike got upset with raj because he got too close to them. well, we think this is what upset them … we really can’t be sure. it would be ridiculous for them to be angry about this since every person in india drives too close to the vehicle next to or in front of them. you wouldn’t expect anything else on the roads here. anyway, the guys on the bike started antagonizing raj … cutting him off and then pumping their brakes, yelling things, and waving their hands around at him. unfortunately, there are lots of toll roads in india and you usually have to come to a complete stop and wait in a long line to get through these tolls. while we were waiting in line the guys walked up to our car, yelling stuff at raj and gesturing for him to get out. not sure why he decided to get out. they yelled at each other and then the guys started pushing him. this turned into punches being thrown and one of the guys biting raj’s hand so hard that it broke the skin. a security guard broke up the fight but of course did nothing about it. we went to the police station and an officer rode back to the toll with us to see if we could find the guys, but of course we couldn’t. the officer didn’t seem too concerned about the incident anyway … he seemed more interested in the fact that there were 2 american girls in the backseat.  so … after 3 near car accidents, a physical assault, and 9 hours of swerving in and out of traffic we finally made it to pushkar! going on a camel safari today!

drive to pushkar

walking around pushkar a bit

if i were to describe what india has been like so far it would sound much like a previous post from indonesia. i know that many of the people here are kind hearted, good people. however, there are also those who will try and befriend you with insincere motives. between the intense heat, noise, and touting i think that our patience is running low these days. thankfully, we are getting to see some amazing places and taking lots of photos. learning about other cultures is a huge part of this trip. we are seeing how there are so many different types of people in this world. of course i’ve always known there are different cultures and people out there, but it’s different when you experience it firsthand. everybody is used to a certain way of life … there are certain expectations and things that are considered acceptable and unacceptable. we are used to the way we’ve grown up in the states. we are used to having certain freedoms that not everyone else has – so it’s interesting to hear what other people think. we will spend today in pushkar, head to jaipur tomorrow for 2 days, and then to agra to see the taj mahal! after that we will spend 5 days or so in nepal … should be beautiful!

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