India Culture

In Agra we had two completely different cultural experiences. Firstly we went to the Taj Mahal, which lived up to expectations – it is a truly beautiful monument. Second, we went to see a Bollywood film, Race, at a cinema in Agra. It was hilarious and surprisingly easy to follow given the over the top acting and the English dialogue every so often. It's telling how many times the songs from the film have been played on our transport; we knew them all!

Delhi is exhausting, our tour group unanimously decided. Sharon and I headed to the Red Fort (which wasn't as cool as the one in Agra) and then wandered to the Craft Museum via the Friday Mosque (Asia's largest). The mosque looked big but was otherwise unimpressive from the outside, however the Craft Museum was great. It reminded me of the British Museum, but devoted entirely to Indian artifacts. It had a full size replica Indian village, showing the varying building styles across the country. In the courtyard were crafty locals demonstrating their skills, but lacking the hard sell other street vendors excell at. The main section of the museum were the exhibits covering hundreds of years of India history, from the life life dolls they made as souveniers for the British working with the East India Company to the elaborate wooden statues and textiles.

While hunting for an auto-rickshaw to take us to the hotel, we saw a long line of them waiting and doing nothing. We approached several drivers, most of whom looked blankly at us and didn't seem to understand. It confused us that they weren't all vying for our business as normal, but we persisted and convinced one driver that he wanted to offer us a ride. Only when he pushed his rickshaw around the corner did we realise that the queue was for fuel…

Two more days of craziness and then we're back to the English madness that most of you call real life!

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