Do you want busy .. Do you want swamped .. Those two words say it all. I have seemingly been both busy and absolutely swamped this past several weeks.
So I am going to turn this Post over to Patti to write a few words under her heading .. Patti Says ..
PATTI SAYS ..
Cap has entrusted me, without him at my shoulder to help and comment, with again sharing some of my own observations and feelings, so, here goes … We left Delhi two days ago, after little sleep the night before, on a 6 am train to Agra Cantt. The train car we were in was essentially empty. Other than us, there were two young ladies from Korea and one man from Scotland, who has spent a great deal of his adult life since 19, living here in India. It was dark and foggy when we pulled out of Delhi, so there was little to see, but gradually the day dawned and the fog thinned. Two hours later we were met in Agra Cantt by our good friend Jeevan, presenting us each with two roses and warm greetings. We were touched.
Stepping out of the train station there was the literal din of loud voices I remembered from my last visit 20 years ago, most clammoring to be of some service to the passengers coming out of the station. Jeevan steered us clear of the din and packed us and our luggage into a motor rickshaw for our journey to our hotel, specifically Hotel Pawan. The gentlemen at the hotel desk were DELIGHTED to see Cap. He is obviously a popular guest! Because we arrived so early in the morning, we needed to sit for awhile for our room to be cleaned, and it was a pleasant time to be able to visit with Jeevan. Once in our room, we NEEDED to rest. Both of us slept soundly for an hour. Cap then went out with Jeevan to obtain our bus tickets back to Delhi on Friday. I continued with my nap. Later Cap returned with our bus tickets, and he rested again. We visited for awhile that afternoon with Jeevan in his shop and then had a nice dinner. We were in bed for the night shortly thereafter to sleep the night through.
Cap was, of course, up before I was and, so as to not bother me, had spread out his suitcase and all of its contents all over the bathroom floor to “organize”. We are going to leave here in Agra Cantt everything that we do not absolutely need. He came out into our room for something only to see, when he re-entered the bathroom, that the sink drain was clogged and water had flooded the entire bathroom floor … and all of his things, including the bottom of the suitcase, were WET. Arggggg! That took some time to start and proceed with the process of moving everything into our bedroom to dry out. I was well awake as this all began and was able to help towel dry a few things. Somewhere along the line, we had a wonderful breakfast of omelet and toast brought to our room, much to our enjoyment.
Eventually we were out of our room and back visiting with Jeevan at his shop. Jeevan arranged for a bicycle rickshaw we could hire to take us to the Taj Mahal and we were off.
Cap shot 145 photos of The Taj and grounds and will post them later.
Now for yet a little more DRAMA!
We ended up at the East gate entrance to The Taj, letting the rickshaw driver go, only to be told we had to go one kilometer away to get tickets to enter The Taj Mahal. Sigh. Off, more than a little distressed, Cap went. I waited by the gate and watched Cap’s magic happen right before my eyes. Cap had not walked ten feet when an electric multi-person shuttle cart waved him to sit down and ride! I was so pleased at this sudden good-turn-of-events! He returned with tickets in hand again riding courtesy of the shuttle.
At security, inside the gate, they waved me on with only my cane in hand, but Cap had to let them look through his backpack. They said he could not bring in the little packets of snacks we had brought. NO gum, candy, other food, cigarettes, and a list of other items could be taken into The Taj grounds nor could he bring in the two SMALL flashlights he was carrying. Back he went to the place where you leave such items to be retrieved on your way out of the complex, snacks and flashlight checked in for our return, Cap then rejoined me inside the gate. We were told there were wheelchairs available. We inquired. We got a wheelchair, and we were all set.
Cap wheeled me past a very long corridor of wall displays about the history of Indian Civilization. He has posted pictures of this display in the past. Very informative. We then proceeded to work our way forward, back and forth across the various pathways, each one somewhat closer to The Taj, resting along the way and Cap shooting pictures from every angle. We eventually made it inside, crowded, but nevertheless memorable. They keep the crowd moving otherwise most would never get inside! Once outdoors again, we ambled our way back along the various paths, finally returning the wheelchair (which had literally made this day possible for me), retrieving our snacks and flashlights, and starting our pursuit of a rickshaw to get back to the hotel. Barely outside of the gate we encountered two grown pigs and two piglets and the usual cows and dogs, all roaming free, of course.
Ah yes, a tad more DRAMA!
We did get a rickshaw back to the hotel in fairly short order only to discover that the toilet tank had been dripping all day and, again, had the entire bathroom floor wet. Cap sopped some of it up and then used newspapers to collect the rest. We determined that the dripping came when flushing the toilet, so now we just flush with a pail of water. I had forgotten the daily travails of Mother India! We followed this with a visit with Jeevan to let him know we were safely back and had had a great day at the ever-impressive Taj. Then, another great dinner and down for the night.
This morning we have had no drama, just sorting some things we plan to leave here in Agra Cantt until our return in February, and having another great omelet and toast breakfast. We leave very early (5:30am) tomorrow morning for our bus trip back to Delhi. It has been more than wonderful to see and spend time with Jeevan again after the previously mentioned 20 year span of time since my last visit.
While Cap and I were sitting just basking in the beauty of The Taj, Cap noticed a young man who was taking photos of another couple. Cap said to me .. “That man looks like Jesus of Nazareth Patti!” When he had finished shooting photos of his friends, we approached him and Cap asked him if he would shoot some photos of the two of us. He most willingly agreed and snapped the above photo along with many others. Cap asked his name and he replied .. “My name is Matthew.”
Below is a photo of the extremely charismatic Matthew.
With Much Joy .. Patti and Cap ..
- JAN 4, 15 .. TRAVEL PLANS ..
- JAN 14, 16 .. THIS IS HARD WORK BUT!