First week of India trip

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October 1st 2005
Published: October 19th 2005
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Murray’s Grandparents (McKenzies) were missionaries in India, and this is where his mother was born. This trip is with Murray’s Uncle Peter and family to see places that are important in the McKenzie Family history.

We arrive in Delhi late Saturday night, and manage to get through the airport without too much trouble. At the exit we are assigned an official taxi number by the authorities. Once outside, Dehli madness begins. Murray is mobbed by taxi drivers, while a gang of porters wrench the baggage trolley out of my hands. Murray starts yelling at me to not let go of my trolley, so I wrestle with the porter to regain control and avoid being steered off towards an illicit taxi. Finally we get into the assigned taxi, after watching at least 12 hands assist with loading our bags into the back. Immediately 12 hands plus the trolley hijacker are asking Murray for a tip! (aka. buckshesh in India). As the taxi pulls out of the airport the driver has used his horn more in 30 seconds than I have in my entire life! Suddenly the driver pulls over, gets out, comes around to my side of the car, and
Connaught Circus.  Connaught Circus.  Connaught Circus.

The church Grandpa McKenzie helped set up, head coverings and all.
locks the door!! Don’t get me wrong, very grateful for the gesture, but made me feel a little bit uneasy. The ride to the hotel was punctuated with more horn blasting, near crashes, and swerving to avoid the occasional cow. Welcome to India!

We spent a few days in this beautiful hill station in the Himalayan foothills. This is where the Raj would spend the summer to escape the Delhi heat. It took 13 hours and 2 trains to get there. The second train, is nick-named the “toy train” because of its size (0.7m gauge tracks), broke down on the way, not good! (Photo) The town is made up of narrow steep streets, and a maze of stairs. With parts of the town inaccessible to cars, porters carry everything manually. It is amazing what the human body can carry when enticed by a few rupees. (Photo) Anything from tourists packs, gas canisters, huge planks of wood, sacks of rice, crates of glass coca cola bottles, to my personal favorite, a bed. This was also Miriam’s first encounter with wild monkeys. These “cute” animals, soon lost their charm after a late night chase, slamming and rattling of the hostel

This is for my Dad, an auto-rickshaw, a common mode of transport in Delhi. Can be scary with the driving over here and the fact that most don’t even have lights at night.
gates while laughing. Needless to say Monkeys now feature on Miriams “I don’t like animals list!”. (Photo)

We headed back to Kalka via a number of towns where Grandpa McKenzie lived during his early days in India. It was a blessing to visit the old mission house in Sabathu, where the McKenzies were married, and find it is now being used as a school for orphans run by the Christian Evangelical Mission from Mizoram. A ‘shortcut’ to Kasauli (Uncle Peter’s brith place) turned out to be a ‘long-cut’ as the driver got lost driving down no exit streets. After some off-roading and a police check point we hit gridlock traffic jams. The minutes ticked by and the likelihood of catching our train seemed to be slipping away (somehow this taxi driver missed the lesson on how to use the horn). We caught the train with seconds to spare and arrived safely back in Dehli.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Shopping at Old Delhi.  Shopping at Old Delhi.
Shopping at Old Delhi.

Soo many people!
Old Delhi Railway station.  Old Delhi Railway station.
Old Delhi Railway station.

The stench, mass of people sleeping everywhere, and India’s poor was a real shock at the Railway stations.
Toy Train Break downToy Train Break down
Toy Train Break down

The man in the orange is a Sadhu (or Holy Man), who happened to be on the train when it broke down.

Men carrying things that Men shouldn't be able to carry.
Solon.  Solon.

The McKenzie Grandparent’s first home as a married couple.
Sabathu.  Sabathu.

Where the McKenzie Grandparent’s first lived separately when they came to India, and where they were married. This use to be a leper hospital and is now a Childrens home.
Kasauli.  Kasauli.

On top of the hill is where Uncle Peter was born.
23 Rotok Road.  23 Rotok Road.
23 Rotok Road.

Where the McKenzie house use to be in Delhi.
Taj Mahal.  Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal.

The group at the Taj, very impressive building. Sharjahan, the Mogul Emperor built it as a tomb for his wife, it took 22 years. He was going to build an identical one in black for himself, but died before it was really started.

21st October 2005

It is wonderful to see where you have been and some of the things you have done.
22nd October 2005

Love the head covering, very you! But the monkeys look so cute, how could you not love them?! It's cool seeing your photos, almost like we are there, and it's nice to see your face again. Can't wait for photos of Sri Lanka. Have fun!
24th October 2005

Cheeky Monkeys
Hey Miriam, I agree with you about the Monkeys! We saw the same breed of Monkey in Thailand and they were very cute, until they came close and then they were, NOT SO CUTE! Very scary little oompah loompahs. The photos look great. India would probably be alot nicer if there were say, 900,000,000 less of them living there. ;-)
27th June 2008

Good work
It's interesting to see your interest in India's common sites.

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