From here to there and back again

Friday, August 12, 2005

From Hyderbad to Delhi and further

We got to Delhi after a very emotional goodbye to everyone in Hderabad. On the Friday night we went out to dinner with all the expats, which was good fun and because Jasmine and Dylan fell asleep even got to talk to some adults.
We had packed up on Saturday and then got ready to. All the staff from the apartments came to say goodbye. It was really sad because they all said they wish we could stay longer, we being JAsmine and Dylan, everyone really seemed to enjoy having them around. JAsmine was upset and cried for an hour aftyer we left. We went to our favourite restuarant and had something to eat befor embarking on our journey to Delhi.
Flying and traveling in India is soemthing else though and we are not travelling first class. The ariplane had vegan food and chilkdrens food for JAsmine and Dylan. They also got an activity pack. No alcohol though. Delhi is eaxactly as you would imagine dirty and crowded. But a real buzz about it. There are cows, horse goats wlaking around the place. So you have to negotiate your way through cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws and cars buses horse and cart, cylcists and not to mention other pedestrians.
Jasmine is having a whole new toilet experience. She had just gotten used to the Indian toilet, squat, when she was introduced to the alley toilet. We were in a restuarant and asked were the toilet was so they sent us up a very smelly alleyway. That was the toilet, we gave it a miss.
Both Jasmine and Dylan are getting alot of attention and JAsmine has decided she does not want to be famous as she is fed up having to pose for photos with people. Dylan has got to the stage were he sees a camera and runs the other way, even when it is Des and me taking it. MInd you he runs a mile when we are around anyway.
We got to stay in a real palace in JAipur, which was really beatuiful. This cost us a whopping 14 euro per night. It was so expensive beacuase we wanted a fan in the room. Dylan had a fever so I had to stay in with him one day, which was not too bad because the gardens were huge and they had deck chairs to relax on.
We took a train to JAipur which gives you tea on arrival, newspaperes after leaving the station, breakfast after hour and half and then some juice after 3 hours. The seats recline and aprat from the screeching transvetites on the carriage it was peaceful. Seriuosly they kept grabbing Dylan, they may have looked like women but they still had the strength of a man, and trying to pinch his cheeks. They could also fart for India and my god is this a big country.Jaipur is a beautiful city and great fun if you enjoy bartering for verything including the use of the toilet, local bus service etc. There are elephants wandering around the street. We were in a cycle rickshaw and one came lumbering up behind us at the traffic lights. Even though they move quite slowly, I didi not think it was going to be able to stop and then its trunk kept wavig around at the back of our heads.
We are currently in Agra, home of the TAj Mahal. Hssle city, I have never been anywhere were shopkeepers barter amongst themselves and reduce their prices to get your custom. I was only buying a bottle of water, but after through no doing of my own he reduced the price by 5 rupees i felt obliged to buy 2.
The TAj Mahal is everything and more that you would imagine, but it is very hot here. AGra itself is famous for purposely poisoning tourists and the restarants and doctors involved still operate. We went to one restuarant today, we are not sure if they were doing this but it made you not want to eat much and nervous about the food. We all feel fine, except for Dylan who syas he has a sore stomach, he did not eat there as he was asleep. It is probably the 6 bananas and half a pomegranate hed had this morning.
I probably seemd a bit obsesses about the toilet situation but, they even use dried horse dung to light their stove for cooking food on. I am going to tkae a picture of it.
Anyway on that note I am going to go. We are catching a train tonight to a plca called Varanasi, it is on the banks of the GAnges before heading to Nepal. We have beds on the train so this should be fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Jasmine can Swim

As we have seen most of the sights in Hyderabad, there was not much else for us to do except sit back and enjy the luxury that we have here. Jasmine started her swimming lessons two weeks ago and due to the rain has had about 9 classes. Yesterday she was jumping in at the deep end and swimming to the oter side of the pool. It was brilliant to see as this is something she has wanted to do for a long time. I found it quite nerve wracking as I cannot do this and coul not believe in such a short time she would be doing this. So today we are off to the pool again so she can practice.

Dylan had his birthday on Tuesday. It was a great party. The mornign time he played with his toys and then I took the to Chutneys a veetarian Indian restuarant. What a disaster. Dylan would not sit down at the table and kept rolling around on the floor. Jasmine kept complaining tha this restuarant was the worst one in all of India. I thought it was great. So this combined with me being very hungry lead to a indigestion style lunch. The climax was when Dylan knocked over his juice and smashed the glass over all of us.

We had a party later on. The staff decorated the room and set up the table. It was really good fun.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Life in Hyderabad

We have settled into a routine of a what may be interpreted as a normal life. The morning time after breakfast we tidy a little and then go to the pool or if we have any jobs to do then do them. We have tended to lunch at the apartment and then go to the playground and pool in the afternoon. We have seen most of the sights in Hyderabad except for Charminar and the bazaars that is for Wednesday.

Tomorrow is Dylans birthday and we are having a party for im. Des has invited all the staff and drivers and ex pats. Jasmine is more excited at the prospect of the party than Dylan. We plan to just go for lunch then her can play with his toys in the afternoon.

Jasmine has just experienced swimming in the monsoon. I thought the classes would be cancelled, but no and so she went today. She is doing really well and should be swimming on her own by the end of he week.

I am still looking into some yoga classes for this week and next, I just need to ring a lady about them.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

To Hyderabad

Well after a long and stressful journey we arrived in Hyderabad. The stress probably began when we booked the tickets and my mantra of everything will be fine suddenly seemed like the biggest pile of nonsense ever. Denial can only work short term.
When we arrived in Frankfurt we had to go and get our boarding passes at the Lufthansa desk only to be told that the flight was overbooked and we were going to be put on standby. At this moment I thought the sky had caved in and I was never going to get to Hyderabad. After much queuing and shouting at the kids for just being kids, we were issued boarding passes an given seats on the flight, not together though. Jasmine and Dylan would have to sit together beside a stranger. I did wonder for a few seconds,too long, whether I should try and rectify it.

Landing in Delhi airport 16 hours after we had set out we all felt a little tired. Jasmine trying to be grown up and not complain but this was not working and Dylan decided that anything I was going to ask, tell or order him to do, he was doing the exact opposite. I had a sudden culture shock in that you never let your kids cry or ignore them when they are upset. I got over the culture shock and stuck to my normal reaction. We had to collect our bags and then go to the domestic transit lounge, which is accessed via a lot of policemen and the international terminal Do not ever leave the airport, which I learned is not the sensible thing to do. I had no idea where I was going or supposed to do. So I thought et some local currency at least if you need to get coffee, taxi, alcohol you can get it. The queue was huge at the BdC so I asked a policeman where I needed to go and he pointed me towards he security back into the area I had just left. He wanted to see my ticket and when I could not produce one. He office where I needed to collect the ticket was in the domestic terminal and all I had was a number on a piece of paper. He asked to see my passport and low and behold suddenly I was bribing an official in an Indian airport. I had left my money in my passport, I have never apologized so much.

My experience of Indian people from being in the airport at Delhi was really positive. Everyone was really helpful even when I was asking in an hysterical voice if they would mind if I bunked the queue in order to get my tickets for the flight to Hyderabad. I did only have 15 minutes to get tickets and checkin for the flight. I did make and was never so glad to get on a plane and know my journey was nearly over. Normally I love the journey, the excitement and adrenelin from going to a new place. Probably now I know on my own with 2 small children on what turned out to be a 26 hour journey, I am not the easy going traveler I thought I was.

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