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Published: January 28th 2012
Jantar Mantar Observatory
Built in the 1700's. Mantar is the Turkish word for fungus/mushroom. Just thought I'd throw that fun fact in.
Truth be told, I was dreading today. We weren't leaving for the airport until 10:30PM, and in my mind, we had a lot of time to kill. We had a fabulous breakfast of omelets, paranthas, toast and jam and coffee and ended up staying at the B&B until noon because we had so much time to kill. Afterwards we took a rickshaw to the metro and took the metro into Delhi. It was clean and efficient and not the least bit crowded. I was impressed.
Our first stop was Jantar Mantar, the observatory built in the 1700's. It has a huge sundial other huge, nifty gadgets used to tell time and the location of objects in the sky. Annette ran into a little old man who worked there for 40 years and now he offered tours for tips, so he educated us about how everything worked. It was really interesting. And he had the hairiest ears I've ever seen. Even hairier than Babu from the textile factory. It was amazing really. His entire ear was covered in hair. I couldn't stop staring, but I don't think he noticed.
We were pretty much done with the sightseeing thing after 15
days of it, so we were ready to do the last of our shopping. I still wanted to buy the copper bowls used to serve food in most of the restaurants. We walked to Central Cottage Industries Emporium where prices are marked and there is no haggling. It was huge. I was in heaven. I could've spent a fortune in this place. We were in there for about three hours and I finally got my copper bowls. I got four of them for about $45.
After we left we went across the street to eat at Saravana Bhavan one last time. Then we went for a walk around Connaught Place because it was still early and it was New Year's Eve. This almost turned out to be a big mistake. We had a lot of difficulty finding a taxi or rickshaw to take us back to the B&B. But the police helped us and we made it back just in time to repack our stuff and head to the aiport.
Annette left much earlier than I did, but we traveled to the airport together anyway and said goodbye. I waited in the airport alone when the clock struck
midnight and there was a short announcement. No one even seemed to care. And I didn't either. If I can't spend New Year's with people I care about, then I don't really care either.
India was an experience and I learned a lot from it. It tried my patience, the little that I have, it invaded my senses, it made me think, and it made me certain I would never live there. But I will go back. There is much left to see in India and a lot of food left to eat.
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