|Humayun Tomb in Delhi|
|Cow Dung Roof|
|Udaipur Lake Palace|
We all revel in the ancient beauty and craftsmanship of the elegant palaces we visit – the Jagmandir Island Palace sitting regally in the middle of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, the Maharajah’s City Palace with its beautiful tile mosaics in Jaipur, and the Maharajah's Sawai Man Singh Palace with its blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, plus the incomparable Taj Mahal in Agra.
|Garbage Foraging Street Animals|
Our shopping excursions uncover better buys the farther we travel from Delhi. The miniature paintings of Udaipur, the textiles and jewelry of Jaipur, the marble work and leather in Agra and carpets everywhere all capture a good piece of our wallets, but what memories these treasures hold.
|Intricate Hand Made Carpets|
|A Business On Every Sidewalk|
|Shanties and Tent Cities|
|Morning Bath At The Village Pump|
|An Alien Invasion|
My friend Kathryn summarizes the trip, "I wonder at how I get so impatient, so miffed even with modern conveniences. I vow to change. I will bring back from India not only nice carpets but also a greater appreciation of life. Next time someone takes fifteen minutes at the ATM, I promise to just relax or offer to help.
I admire the thriftiness I see here in the streets and fields. A branch is a gate, and why not. The well is used to water a cow and take a bath. Rocks are used to mark a breakdown, instead of orange cones. Fencing is made of mud and animal shelters of sticks. This is the India I am taking back. When I am sitting in my luxurious home, stressing about serving overfed people the perfect meal, I will remember the simple life I saw in India. It will be hard listening to people complain about anything."
Katie Foster is a spicy girl who lives in Dubai and wanders around the Middle East. Unlike the famous British Spice Girls, she's not a ho and speaks comprehendible English. You can read more of her work in her blog at http://www.arabiantalesandotheramazingadventures.blogspot.com.