United States of America · 10 Days · 33 Moments · September 2017

Cindy's tour through India

19 September 2017

Almost time for our long flight home. We did some last minute shopping in the hotel. Feel like we got some bargains! The sales people here are so aggressive! The minute they see you touch or look at something they're on you like glue on wallpaper! They say no problem , often. No pressure. But they don't let you leave! They don't understand " just looking"! We sat at the pool for awhile just relaxing. Need to remark on the security at this hotel. Every vehicle is stopped, trunk checked and mirror run underneath. Even our bus. They have an explosives sniffing dog and everyone goes through a metal detector and gets hand scanned and all packages get scanned, every time you come in. Makes me wonder why there is so much security! At least we feel safe. We have actually felt safe the whole time. Everyone has been very welcoming. The only things that seem dangerous are the germs! Washing hands constantly.

18 September 2017

Silver water urn carried to England so Maharajah could drink water from the Ganges. They had a booth set up where you could get a drink of. Ganges sacred water. Our guide did and some of the women. We did not. Hope nobody gets sick!
Today was a trip to the observatory where we saw huge astronomical instruments the were made in the 1700's. They tole very accurate times and included the worlds largest sundial. The Hindus are very superstitious and plan every big event around astrology. If a child is born in a new moon it's very bad and there has to be a special ceremony 27 days later to fix it. Nobody is supposed to see the baby, except the mother, until this ceremony. On to the city palace where the Maharaja still lives. I wish to come back as an Indian princess! Beautiful everything. A little shopping and tonight is the farewell dinner. The time went so fast!

17 September 2017

We've passed this gate many times. Patrick gate.
Went to a puppet show in the slums of Jaipur today. We just all crowded into a small shack and the guy danced the puppet around on the ground. No stage, very short. This family has been making puppets for 200 years. They showed the process. Then they sold puppets of course. I'm not sure why the tour people thought it would be cool to show us the slums. They almost seemed proud of it. First we saw the old slum and then the new and improved slum! Both had satellite dishes. The government put up porta potties for the new slum! They are totally disgusting. Worse than you can imagine. The children all came out to see us and each said "hello". Mary started handing out candy and nearly started a riot! Then we tried our hand at miniature painting. Not my thing. But they showed us some paintings that were beautiful. Some on ground up camel bones made to look like ivory and some with tiny jewels in them. A little garish for me, but I did buy one that was small and plain.

15 September 2017

Went to the Amber Fort. Rode elephant, sweated buckets. Then went to. Carpet factory. The rugs are all handmade in the most primitive way. Hand woven on a wooden loom sitting on the ground. Most workers sit on cardboard on the ground to work here in India. Working conditions are terrible and factories are filthy. It's amazing that such beautiful things a made in these conditions. Also went to a gem cutting factory. I've noticed the the workers are almost always men. Then on to the jewelry store. Had a little fun! Can't post any more picture cause I started using my camera and have no way to transfer the now.

13 September 2017

This little guy was my salesman.
Went to an orphanage for kids with HIV. They were so excited to see us and so cute. They danced for us and showed us some crafts they made for sale. I bought a package of painted clay bowls. They seemed happy but I wondered how much medical care they get.
Went to a Kantha quilting workshop. A young man did most of the work on mine! Then went upstairs to the shop. So much to look at and everything is packaged and not priced so it was hard to shop. We both bought overpriced dresses, but we love them. I also bought a scarf that my salesman said he was just throwing in for free but then charged me for it! We both felt ripped off. Then off to a paper factory. Working conditions for these people are horrible. The factories are really dirty and dangerous with holes in the floor and no chairs. They all sit Indian style on the dirty floor. Anything I buy made in India is going to be triple washed! But the paper is beautiful and not very expensive. They use a lot of glitter so all the men are full of glitter!
I woke up this morning to check out the view from our window. How ironic to have our 5 star hotel overlooking these shacks. There were even people sleeping out in the open.😥There is so much poverty. Makes me sad.
Jim West said getting to India is like giving birth... pain and exhaustion getting there and then all joy!

12 September 2017

We were greeted at the hotel with juice and bindis. But first we had to go through security scanners!

11 September 2017

The plane was so empty we both got our own row of seats! We could stretch out to sleep. Almost as good as 1st class and $1000 cheaper!👏
I've never seen so many wheelchairs! Row after row!😂Funny that not that many wheelchairs came off! I Me thinks there were some cheaters☹️
We have such a long wait at JFK! And it's 9-11!
We thought we were trapped on the 5th floor! Where's the elevator?!

10 September 2017

Day 2 we're on the plane to Charlotte. I could not sleep! Advil PM failed me! Charlotte caused us to be 2 hours late getting into JFK. Lucky we weren't connecting! We had TSA precheck on our tickets which was really nice, but Mary's knees set off the metal detector so she needed a pat down. 😜

9 September 2017

Stopped at Neighbors Mill in Harrison for lunch. We both agree that Bookworms at the library is better!
And so we begin our BIG adventure! We managed to navigate from Gassville to the Marriot Courtyard in Springfield without any problems. Leg 1 completed.