Taj Mahal, Agra, India

At first we considered not visiting the Taj Mahal; we’d seen it in the distance last night, from across the river; it’d be busy with other tourists and people trying to sell things to tourists; it’s just another building.  I’m glad we went.  It was more impressive up close, the stone inlaid with coloured stones, into intricate floral patterns.  It was nowhere near as busy as Pisa or the Eiffel. It was not hot. Other than the initial racing up towards us as we got out of the car, nobody persisted to bother me, or Daniel.

Of course we weren’t able to relax because Mum would respond, acknowledging and accepting the offered buyer-seller relationship. The short walk from the electric bus drop-off to the entry gate was a gauntlet of shop fronts and hawkers. It was like playing World of Warcraft with a noob hunter whose pet pulls aggro from everything you walk past. By the time we got back to our driver Mum was flanked by two sellers, like blowflies on a sheep’s bum, one who kept trying to haggle even through the car window.  Our driver had repeatedly given us advice to not even say, “No!” but Mum had ignored him, and us, but just not the sellers. Mum got a migraine.

We returned to the hotel for a lunch break.  Dan and I then asked the driver to take us to Wildlife SOS – a sanctuary and rehabilitation centre housing sloth bears and other animals.  Mum stayed at the hotel, and booked a massage.  Early night for us tonight.





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