Friday, March 6, 2009

The Taj Mahal Crowd

I am going to be in Delhi for the next week and a half so it provide a great opportunity to see the sites close to here. I thought that Agra where the Taj is relatively close. We got up at 5am to leave the apartment by 6am but didn't get there til 11am. I slept most of the way but woke up to something thumbing on the window. I was startled to see a monkey pressing its face to the window. I thought at first it's a bad dream. Side-effects of the monkey attack I had in Mumbia but it turned out to be real. We were at the toll about to cross the state line and there was a guy with a monkey on the leash doing tricks.. the monkey was doing tricks. There was another guy with a rattle snake and flute next to him trying to entertain us with the snake dance. Then vendors started flocking our windows to sell stuff..I wanted to go back to sleep and close the curtain on this freak show but couldn't tell what was triggering all this. Then I noticed a nice black car parked in front of us and a naive tourist giving money to one of the monkey guys.. Ah silly tourists have to always ruin it for the rest of us. He slowly learned his lesson as more and more people started lining outside his window for change. Although the Taj is amazing it does bring out all these tourists and in turn vendors. I felt like I was haggled more around the Taj than anywhere else in India.