alilou's Adventures in Wonderland - all over the map.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by alilou, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I'm catching up!
    As always, your "adventures"; and the photos/photoshopping that accompany them. are "mind-blowing"

    May you continue; safe and happy on the journey.

    The irises of Canberra were glorious!
    We don't see those in FL.
     
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  2. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks skatesindreams. Yes, those irises, just glorious. And now we're in grotty Delhi :)
    It's so fascinating here, so much to see and do, but alas we head off today - by train to Ramthambore, a national wildlife park. We may see tigers - if we're very lucky :cheer:
     
  3. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    alilou, Don looks great in his Indian costume. Did you get yourself a sari?
     
  4. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    No I didn't get a sari (way too much cloth to carry around, and I've always imagined they'd be very hot), but I was loaned, at the entrance to the main Delhi mosque, a long robe to wear. There will be very funny photos of Julie and myself in our robes in a future post.

    Meanwhile the next post has been published - about an exploration through the rabbit warren of narrow streets and lane ways of Old Delhi, and a magical Sufi evening at the tomb of the great Sufi saint Nizamuddin. So much fun, except for the smog. Smog beyond belief - apparently the worst Delhi has ever had and the longer we stayed the worse it got. Certainly the worst smog I've ever experienced. But worth it. Delhi is an extraordinary city.

    COR - haven't seen any of it - internet speed not fast enough to watch videos, but have read most PBP. Patrick :cheer2: V&M :cheer2:
     
  5. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    "Rabbit warren?!" :COP:

    I guess India has some quite well off street vendors. :wideeyes:
     
  6. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for providing a perspective about the "teeming masses" that's very different from what "Westerners" commonly have/receive.
    That visit to the mosque/celebration sounded fascinating.
     
  7. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating stuff, alilou. Great pictures!!

    And now that I've enjoyed India from my office chair, I'll :slinkaway to bed with my dog and new kitten and a very good book, and enjoy the peaceful end of a day that in comparison, seems awfully dull.
     
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  8. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    No kidding. Opened my eyes as well. Did you figure out rabbit warren? :)

    There's no doubt there's many people in poverty here, but those who you'd think are just scraping out a living are apparently doing very well thank you. Also in Jaipur yesterday we were driven through a very poor part of town and our driver told us it was where the so-called "untouchables" live, most of whom are also making a good living - because they get all the govt jobs that no-one else wants (cleaning, garbage collection etc) plus free medical, and some other thing free - can't remember what at the moment, maybe power, or education or both, or s'thing like that. They're not rolling in it, they just making a reasonable living like people with the same kinds of jobs in the west.

    It's a hard life but someone's gotta do it :lol: However since being in India (2 weeks now) Julie's had a cold and tummy troubles twice, Don once, I sprained the side of my foot yesterday on uneven sidewalk and have had a bad cold/conjestion for a week, and Robbie has also had a cold. But we soldier on - heads high, noses running (we blame the Delhi smog!), limping our way to greatness :respec: Today we go to the monkey temple in Jaipur. It's a 15 minute walk to get there. I don't care. I took a large dose of anti-inflamitories and will go anyway.
    New kitten :swoon: I would be a complete puddle. What have you called it?
     
  9. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    The next blog post is ready - Delhi - part three. Yes the stories of Delhi continue. It is such a huge, and amazing city with so much to see and do.

    The blog has been nominated for two blog awards! :cheer:
     
  10. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    We've named him Leo because it is his sign. I was hoping to get a Virgo baby and have the option of naming him or her Virgo, but the universe conspired for me to choose the rather unoriginal name of Leo. However he is a Leo - fearless, gregarious and emotionally vocal. And he's going to be a monster cat so Leo the Lion fits. He is as big at three months as our last petite female cat was full grown.

    Sometimes I'm a puddle, providing that he isn't biting me, digging yet even more into my now very-scratched office chairs, pressing the answering machine buttons (could be a message for kitty, who knows?), trying to steal my dinner, or looking for something hanging low enough in the closet to climb up.

    But playing toss the cat is so much fun!!

    Enjoyed your last blog post as always. I don't think India is for me. Just reading your posts makes me long for peaceful and tranquil settings.
     
  11. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Yeah India is a trip, that's for sure. It certainly takes a certain amount of tolerance - for crowds and for dirt. At the same time it's so vibrant, and exotic, and friendly.

    Leo sounds adorable :swoon: inspite of the answering machine and office chairs, etc
     
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  12. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the awards. Tell us more. Love your pictures capturing the essence and culture of the various places.
    Hope you all are feeling better from the smog and discomfort. I heard we have to be careful of what we eat.
    I am going to India - Trivandrum, Poovar Island and Cochin in January. :cheer2:
     
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  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I'n so happy that your extraordinary blog is (and the two of you are) receiving the recognition you deserve.
    What's next...perhaps, a book?
     
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  14. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    .

    Thanks spikydurian. Next blog post will be about one of the awards. Feeling better from the smog - it was pretty brutal, but Delhi was really worth it.

    You're coming to India! That's great news. :cheer2: It's an amazing country. Here's some rules:
    Never never drink the water. Never. Not even for teeth cleaning. Bottled water is readily available.
    Really try to avoid eating meat. We've been eating chicken, and had mutton once and we've been OK, but it's really better not to eat any meat.
    Lassi (yogurt drink) is yummy but a total crapshoot as to whether it will be safe or not. Same applies to ice-cream and milk. Tea and coffee are usually served with hot milk so it's ok. Butter and cheese seem to be ok.
    Eat only cooked food. Raw fruits and vegetables are the worst for carrying the usual gastrointestinal bugs. Currently we're staying in a hotel where they guarantee all fruits and vegs are washed in "mineral water" (meaning safe bottled water) so for the first time since we got to India nearly 4 weeks ago we're eating salads and fruit. Heaven.
    Bring hand sanitizer (either antiseptic liquid, or wet wipes) and use it often. I think it's saved us many times.

    If you're staying in 4 or 5 star hotels you'll probably be fine.

    I've never been to any of the places you mention. It's a huge country, and the longer I'm here the more I find out about other places I'd like to see. I hope you have a fabulous trip :cheer2:

    Thanks skatesindreams. The awards are pay-it-forward awards for and by bloggers. I was surprised and excited to be chosen. Next blog post will be about one of the awards.

    And yes, a book is planned. We began writing it while we were house sitting in Canberra before we came to India. We probably won't get back to it until next April/May when we'll be staying put for 2 or 3 months in Mexico.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  15. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    The next blog post is ready, the final one about Delhi - Another walk around Old Delhi, the mosque, and the madness of Sarojini Market.

    Direct link to Delhi post
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/india-part-4-delhi/

    and a post about the Liebster Blog Award - link is same as in my sig line.

    We're in Pushkar at the camel fair - spectacular!

    Next blog post I will finally get past Delhi :lol:
     
  16. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I can see why you've been fascinated by Delhi.
    It seems a "world in itself"!
     
  17. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Finally getting back to reply to this. We've been in the Rajasthan town of Pushkar for the past 9 days for a huge annual livestock fair. Never seen so many camels all in one place before. And a side show, and camel decorating contest, and camel and horse races, and a whole lot more - absolutely spectacular.
    Thanks as always for your interest and comments.
    Yes Delhi really is a "world in itself". I never thought I would go to a city like Delhi, but I'm so glad I did. :respec:
     
  18. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I'd find the dietary limitations a source of great misery and be complaining constantly. I remember being in The Philippines, where the only coffee that was usually available was Instant Nescafe and there was virtually no cheese. Velveeta cheese was available in the expensive supermarkets and that was about it, but it was divine after weeks without cheese. I was way more flexible back in those days I guess.

    I don't think I could travel anywhere again without access to good, dark roasted expresso coffee. Perhaps the Middle East, if they drink that thick Turkish coffee I came to love when I lived in Greece. Even in North America I bring along my coffee and a coffee maker of some sort or another when I travel. It was easier before the invention of automatic coffee makers with tea-bag type filter that contain pre-packed coffee.

    What are you doing for sweets (key lime pie and giant cookies and such). Are the sweetmeats okay?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  19. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Alliou have you picked up much Hindi yet?
     
  20. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Oh I do know what you mean about having your favourite things everyday, like being able to have your coffee the way you like it. You'd die in India - they haven't got a clue about coffee. Fortunately for me I love tea, meaning good English style black tea with milk and sugar. It is easy to get in India, everywhere. Also chai of course, which is a lightly spiced version of the same thing, so I'm extremely happy that way. I can always get a good hot cup of strong tea first thing in the morning. Keeps me human.

    I'm actually enjoying Indian food, even though I usually don't like spicy. There's such subtlety of flavour, and chicken tikka cooked in real clay ovens the way they have for hundreds of years is amazing. You'll never get really good Indian food anywhere else but in India I think. Surprisingly I'm enjoying it more than Italian food.

    Still, the 9 days in Pushkar where we ate western every day was a very welcome change back to the familiar for all of us.

    Sweets? Yes, I know you know I love my desserts :) well I pretty much just do without here, except we have been eating ice-cream which keeps me happy enough as far as dessert is concerned. There is absolutely no comparison with Italian ice-cream, but it is cold and creamy and good enough. If only I could finish my Indian meal with Italian Ice-cream. Now that would be really good.

    Don't come to India for the cheese. Enough said. :D

    I know 4 words in Hindi
    curiously I picked up the word for mosque just today - our driver didn't speak much English but we'd told him we wanted to see a mosque and after driving a little way he stopped in the parking area of a hotel and said parking for dargah. I remembered that the mosque in Delhi was called a dargah and put the two together.
    Namaste - a universal greeting of acknowledgement and respect towards another. It literally means "the God in me recognises the God in you" - almost always said with hands in prayer position.
    Ram ram (pronounced rum rum) - a general greeting, probably used a little more than namaste. Namaste seems to be a little more formal, and of course, more universally known. We always get more reaction, and it's almost always one of delight, when we say ram ram.
    Danyavad - I've spelled this phonetically, as best I can figure it out. It means thank you. A good word to have.

    That's the extent of my Hindi.

    In about 10 days we will be in Thailand. I will learn the words for please, thank you, hello, and good bye in Thai. These words are always useful.

    OMG I just went to part of an Indian wedding! I wrote all the above about 2 hours ago, and was about to post it when Julie suddenly knocked on my door and said Alison, Alison, you've got to come quick, there's a wedding procession. And we got to join in. It was amazing! Will blog about it eventually. It's midnight and we're getting up at 6am to go see the Taj Mahal. Need sleep, but too wired :cheer:
     
  21. pingu

    pingu Well-Known Member

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    WHAAAAT?? Don't you dare coming to Italy again. Ever. :p
     
  22. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Oops, sorry :slinkaway :p

    Ice-cream is the best though :cheer:
     
  23. pingu

    pingu Well-Known Member

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    I won't forgive you :drama:
     
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  24. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Please pretty please :D

    OK I got it wrong about dargah meaning mosque. Masjid means mosque. A dargah is a shrine/mausoleum for a holy person - just to set the record straight :)
     
  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I love that you "spontaneously" were able to see/attend the wedding procession!
     
  26. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    The wedding procession was loud(!) and amazing - people dancing as it went along the road and we were invited in to dance with them, and fed when we got to the reception area. All the time the groom is at the back of the procession sitting on a big throne on an elaborate silver carriage pulled by 2 horses. The procession had a band and loud speakers blaring music and took about 3 hours to go the distance it took us to walk home in about 10 minutes! Poor groom had to sit there in all his finery and couldn't join in all the fun. More about it, and pics in a blog post eventually.
     
  27. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    A new blog post is ready. This time for a real change of pace, it's about a national wildlife park where we went on both a morning and evening safari. It was great to be out of the city and away from the smog.

    Sambar Deer :cheer: crocodiles :scream: all kinds of birds :wideeyes: Spotted Deer :respec: mongoose, and more.

    We will be on the road during the GPF - going from Varanasi to Delhi to Bangkok to Koh Samui to spend 2 weeks on the beach :inavoid:

    It's a hard life but someone's got to do it :D
     
  28. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Granted, it wasn't India, but we did see tigers, among other big cats such as panthers, at the San Diego Zoo. :)

    The zoo was our reason for making the trip, and it did not disappoint.

    Enjoy while we in Vancouver stay wet and cold. Koh Samui is supposed to be wonderful.

    You probably can get ISU coverage, too, while we Canadians get to wonder how few GFP free skates CBC can manage to show for each discipline on Sports Saturday coverage. I figure 3, in between the curling and the skiing.
     
  29. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Those photos are gorgeous!!! :respec:
     
  30. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    Beach and Thai food! What more can we ask for! Looking forward to the pictures and experience.
     
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