Thursday, May 10
Heading for the Hills
"Sir, which country you from? ... Ma'am ..."
"No, Winnipeg."
"Ahhh, very very nice place."
"Yup, (wave and smile) bye!"

-A typical exchange between us and various people in the marketplaces, usually occuring between 10 and 15 times a day. Paul, a British guy we met last night while dining on the Mehran Fort's noble terrace, told us that he's started making countries up to stave off the boredom. Sounds like a good idea.

We both seem to be back in functioning order, feeling at least 95% ourselves again. The Norfloxacin 400's we picked up for a dollar (maybe MB health will cover the bill) seem to be doing their job, or at least our stomachs are getting used to all things Indian.

And it's hot, friends, very very hot. As we type in a strangely humid-cold basement of an Internet spot, the temperature is soaring towards 43 degrees celsius. It is amazing what the human body can take.

A few hours left here in Jodhpur until we board a night train for Delhi, and then another for Shimla, a northern city promising respite for our sweat-soaked brows. Rajasthan has charmed us with its desolate beauty, beguiled us with its frantic momentum, and endeared us to its colourful people. That said, the nickname that's been applied to Westerners who come here in the summer months seems apt; we are feeling more and more like "mad dogs."

Namaste, we'll write you all from the footstools of the Himalayas.

Jen and Mark
posted by The Hippie Triathlete at 6:10 AM Permalink
Sunday, May 6
We're safe and sound! far! It's Sunday in India, and our first official day on our own. Jonathan greeted us at the Delhi airport, and was our faithful host/guide all day yesterday. This morning we embarked just the two of us (on a local bus filled to the brim with people) and arrived in Jaipur today at around noon. It's about 38 degrees celsius right now, but we survived yesterday's 40 so we should be alright. Off we go now to find some cold drinks and fresh mangoes...which, incidentally are in season right now.

Last night we had the priviledge of being able to watch a Hindi marriage ceremony. We were allowed into the huge buffet (it took place in our hotel), and served by one of the staff. This morning we woke up to discover that the party was STILL not over! (Thanks for the earplugs, mom) As we sipped our "cold coffees" (Nescafe, sugar and milk), we watched the tearful bride say goodbye to her families.

More to come!

(by Jen)
posted by Mark at 5:00 AM Permalink
Tuesday, May 1
half a world away
While talking to a well-traveled friend today, she said "travelers say that you haven't really traveled until you've been to India or China." Well, even though I don't agree with the statement, I do know what the intention behind it is: Get ready for adventure.

A few other people have weighed-in on our upcoming trip (we leave on the 3rd! this Thursday!). While my dad was here over the weekend he read us from Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. All I remember is "each breath was like a tiny victory." Another friend-of-a-friend: "Why are a white girl and her white husband going to India in MAY?"

Because we got married and when people get married they go somewhere hot, and so we picked the hottest place on the planet. 42-45 degrees Celsius, or for all you Yanks, 107-113 Fahrenheit. Well actually, I have this wee obsession with mountains, and so Mark is taking me to see one of the greatest mountain ranges on earth. The food, adventure, and eye-openers will top it off, to make it soooooooo much better than your standard tropical vacation. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

So check in for updates. We'll try to get to a computer whenever we can, but no promises. Off we go!

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posted by The Hippie Triathlete at 7:51 AM Permalink