A candid description of my trip from NYC to rural India and finally to U. of Michigan, Ross School of Business. Go Blue!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Udaipur at last!

I have finally reached beautiful Udaipur, the city closest to where I'll be working. I'll be here for a week of training/hindi lesson. To recap this last week of traveling:
Thursday I toured Old Delhi, visiting the Red Fort and Jama Masjid, a famous mosque. In between the 2 sights I had a very scary bicycle rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk. It's a bunch of alleyways full of bustling commerce (food stands, people hanging around, etc) and I probably would have enjoyed it more had someone explained to me first that it was part of the tour. Neither my driver nor the rickshaw driver did this, and so for a while there I was very confused and nervous about the whole activity! But the ride was legit and in the end it turned out to be a good day touring.

On Friday I arranged for a driver to take me to
Akshardom, a new temple just outside the city. It's so new that it's not in the guidebooks yet, so I was the only non-Indian there. However, no cameras are allowed in the temple so it wasn't a repeat of kids running up to me for photographs like I'm Donald Duck at Disney World. The temple was absolutely beautiful and although finished just last year, it is built with interlocking pieces instead of steel, like the temples were built before modern times. From there I toured the rest of New Delhi, including an interactive Gandhi museum that is best left for the children (the best part about it was the AC...not to diss Gandhi), Lotus temple which is beautiful and Qutb Minar- my personal favorite. Qutb Minar is a huge tower that was originally built as a sundial in the 12th century. There's also a few other historical ruins on site that were built and then subsequently torn down by the various ruling parties of Delhi over time.

On Saturday I met up with another intern, Jonathan, and we took my driver out to the Taj Mahal in Agra. It was wonderful! The town of Agra is more congested with traffic than even Delhi if that's possible. Then our driver dropped us off in Mathura, which is a stop on the overnight train from Delhi to Udaipur. The wait for the train was probably the worst experience I"ve had so far. He dropped us off 5 hours early and the station was extremely sketchy. We were the only tourists and people stared at me like it was their job. Thank goodness Jonathan was there as I couldn't have handled it alone. About 2 hours before the train came, the power went out. So there we are huddled together with our backpacks, exhausted and dirty waiting in the dark. However, the beauty of India is that you never know who you'll meet. Some boys on their way to some training for their school, IIT, started talkign with us and the next thing you know we are surrounded by young guys wanting to talk to us (well, mostly jonathan). IF we ever get back to Mathura we'll have plenty of places to stay! the overnight train was quite nice actually and we arrived to our pretty nice hotel in Udaipur early Sunday morning. Udaipur is great and so are the other interns and FSD workers. I'll update more on that later. Please keep reading and please post comments with questions or anything else!


At 1:50 PM, Blogger UPennOlie said...

Oh Jonathan, my hero! I couldn't have done it w/o you! (smooch smooch smooch) :)


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