Friday, March 2, 2012

Head Over Heels Friday: Experiences In India

Well, the India leg of my Asia trip is coming to a close today as I am getting ready to depart for Hong Kong
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As I was told and expected, India was a TOTALLY different world than any place else I have been to in my life. I am so thankful to have seen and experienced every bit of this trip! The people we met were amazing, kind, and I loved learning about their country and culture. The food was authentic, delicious, and I discovered a new dessert that I love- gulab jamun.  Lastly, the places and sights I saw along the way left me mesmerized, I still can't believe I saw the Taj Mahal, total experience of a lifetime!
Now, I know some of you might be wondering about some of the more difficult 'real life' things like poverty and yes, it is there... and it was difficult and mind boggling to see each day, but I don't feel like it is anything I am knowledgeable about to discuss or write about.  With that said, I’d love to focus on what I was Head Over Heels for during my visit to Delhi, India!

Without a doubt, laying my eyes on this was pretty dang special...
I think I took a million pictures there, but here is my nerdy "I'm in front of the Taj!!!" photo:
Now, I knew we were going to see the Taj Mahal, but I had NO IDEA we were going to get to go inside.  Did you know you could go inside?  I sure didn't so that was AMAZING!  The interior is made up of beautiful marble just about everywhere.
Next on my list was shopping the open air market, and I certainly got a few goodies to bring home!
Aside from shopping and 'tourist-y' type things, I just loved that even on a simple drive during our work day I would get to see beautiful structures along the way.
Included on my list is our hotel- The Imperial New Delhi.  It was built in 1931 and oozes the Art Deco feel which I adore!  Every detail was just gorgeous!
One of my favorite experiences was getting henna on my left hand.
  It is absolutely amazing watching it being applied, the designs were complete on both sides of my hand in less than 15 minutes... take a look at this video:
video

In India, henna is used on a bride's feet and hands as part of a wedding ceremony and celebration (as it was explained to me, hope this is accurate).
Now, it looks like 'puff paint' when it is applied.  As it dries is soaks in and hardens on the surface of your skin.  I was advised to let it dry for about 3 hours so that it would stay on longer- that length being around 14-15 days.
Beautiful right?!?

Next, another area of interest during my trip was the wildlife everywhere... and I mean EVERYWHERE!  Cows as expected, but in addition we saw water buffalo, monkeys, dogs, pigs, goats, camels, and probably more that I am not remembering? I thought the monkeys were fun to spot, but they are mean if you are too close! The one on the right hissed at me when I zoomed in for this picture.
To close my Head Over Heels experiences, this is totally silly, but I hope some of you are entertained by this.  Our hotel bellmen were dressed in traditional fashion which kept reminding me of Punjab from the movie Annie.  After saying "Leaping Lizards!!!" for a few days straight....
... I knew I had to get my photo taken with him. I think he has to take pictures a lot, he didn't seem surprised :)

Pretty extraordinary adventure right?  Now, onto Hong Kong!!! 

7 comments:

  1. Wow! So cool! I love reading about your trip.....feels like I'm there! Have fun!

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  2. During my 30 year marriage to an Indian I visited about 13 times. I always had from one to four little daughters with me. Of course we stayed with family with the exception when we were traveling around the country. When we return now, the Imperial Hotel is our home. The mural in the Delhi airport is by Satish Gupta, a cousin by marriage. I'm always thrilled when a young person finds beauty and joy in India. My oldest daughter and her husband are taking their children to India for the first time. They will also stay at the Imperial. Lovely hotel. I hope you will someday return to India for another visit.

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  3. How exciting. I don't like to travel much, but love seeing the sights through other people's experiences.

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  4. india looks like fun! I would totally be right there with you on the Punjab experience!! I LOVED Annie when I was little!!!

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  5. Leapin' Lizards!

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  6. trivial yes, but I love your style and it makes me super happy that I have the same sandals you are wearing in the last pic :D

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  7. It was so hard to follow your pictures. I liked the other pages I looked at, where you gave a description and then a pic. This time with bundling pictures, then bundling descriptions... was just confusing and finally gave it up.

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