Monday, January 31, 2005

Pictures

Hey All,

I'm in Bundi now, a very small town in Rajasthan. I'm heading east now to Orcha, Khajarho, Varanassi, and Calcutta -- then flying to Bangkok and making my way around SE Asia. Everything is going great and hope you guys enjoy the pictures. The last 2 months I've taken 500 pictures but I'm only able to upload a few because of the poor internet connection.

Backwaters of Kerala
Longboat in Kerala
Sadu @ Hilltop in Hampi
Drinking from Coconut
Beautiful Munar - Tea Plantation
Banana Pickers, Hampi
Me praying in Temple
View outside cabin room in Munar - Would you pay $6/night for this view?
Me getting palm read
Hyderabad, teen group at Fort
Grandma & baby in Sanchi
Traditional Dresses
Oh, Taj - Thy Beautiful
Me & Taj
Taj - Diff. Angle

Me getting interviewed by media about stolen stuppa on largest Indian TV network
Me in Hindi Dance Video
Another Dance Vid Pic
Happily Insane
Camel - What Cutie
Monkey Striking a Pose
Orit - Israeli I spent a week with
Me & Orit
Teaching Chess
Sunset in Pushkar
Building in Lake
Me doing Fire Poi
I love kissing Camels
Happy Jewelery Store Owner (After big sale with me)













Friday, January 21, 2005

Not Many Days Left...

I can't believe how fast this trip has gone. As cliche as it is, time flew by. I will probably be leaving India February 5th to give me 3 months in SE Asia. I was thinking about heading to Nepal, but any time I spend there will leave me with less time exploring Vietnam or Cambodia.

I've been staying in Pushkar the past week, relaxing and not doing much of anything. Hey, I'm on vacation! Can you blame me?

From here I'll head down to Kota and then make my way to Calcutta to fly into Bangkok.

I'm actually going to miss this place. People say the more time you spend in India, the more it grows on you, and it certainly does. Masala Dosa, chai, "give me 1-pen", loud horns, "NA MA STE", 2nd class sleeper trains, Iway cybercafe's, hippies, squat toilets, POLLUTION, crap everywhere, bucket showers, "what country are you from?", GOA, templezzz....

Where I've been: Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Kerala (Kochi), Munnar, Coimbature, Mysore, Bangalore, Hampi, Hyderabad, Bhopal (Sanchi), Agra, Pushkar.

Books I've read: 9/11 Commission Report, Chaos - Making a new Science by Gleick, Art of Wordly Wisdom by Gracian, Making Friends & Influencing People by Carnegie, Clicks Bricks & mortars

Number of Festivals I've been to: 4 (Diwali, Holi, Kite Festival, Eid)

Number of Americans I've met: 12









Friday, January 14, 2005

Festive India

The Kite Festival has got to be one of the best festivals of all time. India has a thing for festivals, I never quite understood them, but they are beginning to grow on me. This festival brings the entire city into the streets and on roof-tops for a day of non-stop, action-packed, KITE FLYING!

OK. I know what you must be thinking, "Flying kites, Josh, that's kids play." Absolutely not! This is hard-core competitiveness in its purest form.

Buy a kite (3 ruppees) & string from the hundreds of venders that line the street. All the kites are made exactly the same. The person who flies the kite highest is the best.

Hundreds of kites fill the sky, except my kites, which barely got off the ground. I took a video of the most skilled kitesman in all of Jaipor using some crazy advanced kite flying techniques which I'll post shortly.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Finally, An Update

There are so many things to write about, it's hard knowing where to begin. I was questioned by police and interviewed on India's largest TV network. An ancient statue was stolen and they suspected a foreigner, so me and the two Dutch travellers I was with got pulled out of a jeep and questioned. Pretty cool. While I was getting interviewed I pulled out my digital camera and started taking pictures of myself being interviewed, I'll have to post them soon.

Today I went to monkey temple, absolutely spectacular. Hundreds of monkeys darting around, fighting, playing, doing monkey things. I even saw one smaller monkey jump on the back of a goat, the goat was obviously not very happy about the situation, so he began jolting back & forth, and the monkey continued to hold on as if he were riding a bull. The little monkey's like showing off and playing-- I saw one sliding down the side of a rocky mountain on a plastic bag. He was quite happy with himself, until small puppy wanted to claim the plastic bag as his own.

Ah, and of course there's the Taj. That guy must have really loved his wife and it shows. Everything in exact symmetry and harmony, the perfect building in every way.

What else? Every day is still new and exciting, so after travelling for over two months, I think that in itself is remarkable. I've been meeting travellers along the way, but no particular love interests as of yet--although it's no secret that Indian's make good wives--very compromising and mostly good cooks.

I plan on spending another month in India, then heading to Asia for 3 months. I will try my best to make my updates more frequent.. It's easier for me then trying to relate 3-week's of experiences into one update.

Everything else is going pretty good I'd say. No complaints at all. They don't call it "experiencing India" for nothing. To travel here, you must really accept everything as it comes, otherwise you will be doomed by the pollution, traffic, hectic life, and a thousand other adjectives and nouns.

Keep emailing as it's always great to hear from everyone.