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Published: February 13th 2005
So Final thoughts and reflections on India before my flight back to America tonight...
Seeing the Taj Mahal was a perfect way to end the trip. The Taj was one of the few things that was incredibly beautiful in its form and symmetry that made me catch my breath. Other places and sights were beautiful but not awe inspiring unfortunately. At the train station, I just happened to meet a couple from San Francisco and while I was sitting with them these Indian girls came up to us. Their sincerity and generosity overwhelmed me as they came up to us (after introducing themselves) and let us sample burfi (milklike fudge) and then gave us an entire unopened box of petha (candied pumpkin). These people had just met us yet treated us like old friends and didn't expect anything in return for their kindness.
This country has been challenging at all turns yet was rewarding by the random encounters that I've experienced. It seems to be a country of extremes - hot and cold climates, poverty and wealth, beauty and ugliness, etc.
In regards to being a solo female traveller in India... it can be done. It has been challenging being a
an ugly contrast to the beauty of the Taj Mahal
western female traveller as you're a target by leering young men, tourist
shop owners and rickshaw drivers but I've never felt physically threatened (though being on Indian roads is a different matter) and I still have all my belongings on me; Common sense and intuition has served me well. I admit that I've paid more money (i.e. travelling in a higher class compartment on the train) than if I had been travelling with someone but it gave me a peace of mind and I didn't have to always worry about my bags or passport.
Next entry: the glamerous world of Hollywood and maybe entries from Australia and Hong Kong in about a month if I'm lucky.
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