Since returning from Mussoorie I have been playing tour guide to my dad who is here for 10 days. It’s hard to see even a portion of the country in such a short time but I tried without creating an overly-exhausting itinerary.

Dad’s Trip;
S Aug 2- Delhi
S Aug 3-Jaipur (arrive 10:45)
M Aug 4- Jaipur/Ahmedabad (20:40 leave)
T Aug 5- Ahmedabad (arrive 7:40) → ended up in Delhi, Ahmedabad got bombed ☹
W Aug 6-Agra
T Aug 7-shim (arrive at NDLS by 7:00, leave at 07:40)
F Aug 8-Shimla
S Aug 9-Shimla
S Aug 10-Shimla
M Aug 11- Delhi

He arrived on Saturday the 2ed of August from Nigeria via Dubai and after a late night the evening before I regretted offering to meet him at the airport. Even after a cold shower and several cups of coffee I was still exhausted. I showed him around North/Old Delhi and a little bit of central Delhi before it was obvious that we were both exhausted and we both almost fell asleep at dinner. That was before two very drunk girls walked in a caused such a scene that the few other patrons there left after being told by the girls (both Indian) to ‘F off and get out of their country’ (the other patrons were expats). We stayed to watch the shit show and the manager came over to apologize for their behavior and let us know that because they are “ladies” he cannot force them to leave (they also told him off when he requested they leave). I thought that was interesting. Perhaps I can test this rationale by getting obscenely drunk my last night here, cursing out and insulting everyone in a 5 star restaurant of choice, breaking glasses and tipping over furniture, falling on my face and losing my top, but then I would have to think of something else to top the show that these girls put on.

Traditional Jaipur dancers balancing pots on their heads

(it didn’t take long for my dad to realize that the monkeys were NOT cute, but rather a menace. Right after they grabbed all the food out of my hands)

The main attraction of Jaipur is the old city and the city palace with the traditional pink walls that flank the entire perimeter of the old city.

The next morning we went to Jaipur for what was going to be 3 days, 2 nights. It turned into 2 days and 1 night. There really wasn’t that much to see there and we were done with most of the city within a day. The thing that I do regret is the day we left was the biggest celebration of the year and there was a parade and festivities just setting up as we were heading out of town. Overall the old Jaipur was beautiful, but I had been to Rajasthan previously and much of the sights were similar.

Back in Delhi that Tuesday I showed my dad the Lotus temple as well as hitting up a few touristy spots that I had yet to make it to previously. Then sent him back to his hotel with tickets to Agra for the following day so that he could see the Taj Mahal and I could finally go to work. I had no intention of going back to Agra after going once. That was more than enough as it is essentially, aside from the monuments, a very hot, dirty and mean city.

Thursday morning off again on the early train to Shimla. The train only goes to Kalka, which is a 3-4 hour drive away from Shimla at best. Shimla is a hill station that over the years has grown into a weekend retreat for the Indians in the know, primarily those who want to escape Delhi for a weekend. The photo on the left is the sun setting on Shimla and to the right is a traditional street in the picturesque town. It was beautiful but also very cold and day 2 proved to be very rainy. The second day there we made the probably not so smart decision to go horseback riding in the pouring rain along steep mountainous trails to see a temple at the top of the mountain. Let me save you the trip and tell you that unless it is your religious belief that brings you to this temple, it is not worth the trek, at least not in that weather. For some reason we also went to a nature reserve in the rain. The bears were really cool but I was so miserably cold that I lost feeling in my fingers and toes. I spent the next 3 days with what felt like the flu, complete with runny nose, body ache, fever, sore throat, etc. This made for a miserable 6-hour ride back on Sunday in the antique train from Shimla to Kalka. The cabin on this tiny antique train was filled with lots of little people who spent the trip throwing more food on the ground then in their mouth and running around the cabin. There was then another 5-hour ride to Delhi from Kalka and again the cabin was filled with screaming kids. They don’t make drugs strong enough for these trips.