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INDIA – the weekend of one Elephant

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Two months ago Annette and Alma email and say they’ll be  in Delhi for a month in July and we need to pop over for a weekend- feels weird to say I went to Delhi for the weekend – but at only a 5 1/2  flight you can make a long weekend out of it – and I did!  Poor Ryan couldn’t take off work yet, bless his heart, he sent me on as a scouting mission for future adventures (and he got the house to hiself for a long weekend!).  I left Thursday at 11Pm got to Annette’s at 3 AM and spent thru full days with her and Alma.  Was a great weekend – best of all seeing old friends 🙂  Love you both!

What to say about Delhi – it was much shorter than I expected, no crazy skyscrapers jutting upwards like Singapore.  It was also much greenier than I expected.  Streets were lined with full lush trees and the houses etc… were all set waaaay back so you could only see the property walls and greenier….  that was the fancy part of the city.  The older part – still green but not quite as removed from the street.  On the downside, there was trash everywhere which really distracted from the scenery.  Day one was spent wandering Chandni Chowk neighborhood looking at everything under the sun (litterally) avaialbe for sale.  I had my eyes peeled for cufflinks in the shape of an elephant.  Well we found a store and the gentleman found one beautifull cufflink with diamond chips and a ruby for an eye… I, however, have two sleeves and needed a pair.  When I told him I was really disapointed he couldn’t find the match his reply was ‘not as disapointed as I am’ 😉 To add a reminder of my loss, as we climb into the car I look to my right and there is an elephant (a real one) on the street passing us by.

Day two (Saturday):  We awoke at 4 Am and were in the car by 5 on our way to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.  Thank god Annette is a Mom!  We had an array of items for breakfast – including a thermos of coffee.  Alma slept most of the way and when she woke up, was in good spirits despite the interupted night’s sleep.  We arrived at the Taj by 9:30 – hired a tour guide and finished by noon.  It is indescribable so I won’t even try… pics are attached.  The only thing I will mention is that it was hot – which meant that it wasn’t crowded but also that wondering the gardens or the back lanai by the river was kept to a minimum.  After another great lunch full of Indian delicacies (prata, paneer cake (think deep fried rounds of cheese) in a cardamon gravy/sauce, spiced lentils, amazing cauliflower) we did a little shopping.

Round two of Paul and the cufflink – the jeweler said we don’t have elephant cufflinks but I have an elephant pendant for a necklace, I respond ‘but I don’t need a pendant’.   Clearly I’m new at buying jewlery in India.  He says ‘ we are jewelers and in 5 minuntes can make this pendant a cufflink”  Excellent I say, do you have two?  He replies ‘of course’ and he sends his coworker into the back room… meanwhile Annette is contemplating a beautiful Carnelian pendant and Alma and I are looking at the fish in the gigantic fish tank – hmmmm fish head curry……  so the guy returns from the back without a matching elephant – I still have two sleeves and only one cufflink.

Day three – perfect lazy Sunday!  Annette and I went thru a few french presses of coffee, chatted on the sofas and ate yummy almond coffee cake.  Alma played, colored and tried to eat breakfast but kept getting distracted …. her peanut butter toast was yummy!  We motivated off the sofa in time for lunch – did some souvenier buying and then back to the house where Annettes coworker, Lindsey, was meeting us for dinner.  No we didn’t cook, Annette has a cook/housekeeper that can do wonders with lentils and made a great butter chicken.  On the way back from the Taj, I asked the driver to stop at a mango stand and we had the mangoes for dessert.  (yes, Ryan Singh, they were the BEST mangoes I’ve every had).  Perfect way to end a great weekend.

It was a great introduction to India – I’ll be back.


4 responses »

  1. Told ya – Best Mangoes come from India!

  2. Barbara Mullenex

    Paul, you are cuddling a cute kid, touring the Taj, eating Indian delights, and searching for elephant cufflinks while poor Ryan is home with fish nimbling on his toes.

    You need to come up with something spectacular to make up. and NO, having the house to your self is NOT the same as visiting the Taj Mahal……


  3. Yes, it is very difficult to believe you skipped over the India for a long weekend – but thanks for sharing a little bit of India with us – sounds like a wonderful trip!

  4. What a great trip…and OMG how cute (and big) is Alma? What on earth is Annette feeding her? 🙂


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