new delhi by numbers

18: Number of hours traveling to get from Minneapolis to New Delhi
8.5: Really irritating hours of the trip, with some guys going to Amsterdam on a stag week to “get messed up”. They had already started drinking in the airport and were really noisy and drunk on the plane. Of course they were sitting next to me.
0030: Time I got to my very nice hotel room late Saturday night/early Sunday morning
0600: Time I got up in order to do a day trip to Agra
253: Number of kilometers from New Delhi to Agra (that’s 157 miles)
4.5: Number of hours to get to Agra (I had been told about 3 hours by an Indian friend in Minneapolis – I need to have a word with him when I get back…)
115: Temperature in Fahrenheit at the Taj Mahal. Blimey it was roasting. I felt like a frying egg. That’s 46 Celcius.
3: Liters of sweat I lost while walking around the Taj Mahal. Did I mention it was hot? But it was also quite amazing and well worth the drive and the heat – quite beautiful.
50: Approximate number of people who ran over to me and tried to sell me stuff every time I got out of the car.
50: Number of these people who I ignored, and who gave up trying to bug me within 30 seconds. I think I’m getting the hang of being a tourist here.
50: Number of pictures I took of the Taj Mahal – mostly of the buildings and area, with a few of some tourists and some monkeys.
4.5: Number of hours it took to get back to the hotel.
2140: Time I got back to the hotel. I’m too tired even to have a beer.

Special bonus number: add together all the numbers listed above and you will get the number of times we were almost killed on the roads to and from Agra. I had forgotten how ridiculous the traffic is here. Several times we almost ran into speeding oncoming cars.

P.S. It’s hard to remember all the things I saw along the way – real sensory overload. One difference between here and Bangalore is that not just oxen are pulling carts – lots of camel power going on (Delhi is further north and nearer to the desert). Lots of people in cars and rickshaws, or in fact any kind of transport imaginable. Buses packed with people, and more people riding on the roof. Rickshaws carrying 15 people (usually built for 2 or 3) including some hanging off the sides. Considering the cars pass within fractions of an inch, at speed, this is just suicidal.

Anyway through all the hustle and, furthermore, bustle of the Indian traffic I do like to try to remember at least one comedic sign – the one on today’s trip which stood out was by the side of the road, and said “Institute for Advanced Research on GOATS”

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