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Published: February 6th 2005
Mmm... deep-fried indian snacks
My wishful thinking that I could eat almost anything (within reason) and my propensity for cheap food got me into trouble. However, gravol, immodium and ciprofloxin have saved the day. The moral of the story is don't be cocky and don't be cheap with food; the reason being... the first day I could leave to Agra was the day the Taj Mahal wasn't open. I decided to still see the Red Fort with two guys I met at my hotel. Trying to get to the Red Fort was a feat in itself as one of the guys wanted to go to a bank and hearing that, the cycle-rickshaw man steered us to a private bank which offered a crappy exchange rate AND insisted on charging an exchange fee despite Phillip's specific directions to go to a State Bank on MG Road. In general, the rickshaw drivers, postcard boys and would-be guides are on you like flies and do not seem to get the hint even when you say no five times. However, they do not swear at you as one postcard boy did when I was in Cuzco, Peru.
I'm currently touring in Jaipur and checked out the City Palace and the Jantar Mantar, a astronomy observatory. Of the latter, the admission was 10 rupees (30 cents cdn) but the price to use your camera was 50. I tried to sneak in a few pictures but alas, I got caught and had to pay the camera ticket... oh well. In the afternoon, I caught a Hindi flick at the Raj Mandir cinema. This place is huge and victorian in color yet slightly abstract in design. The movie featured a top Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai - I guess top Bollywood actresses refuse to be kissed on the mouth on screen (she might have trouble if she tries to make it in Hollywood). There was this intimate romantic scene in which the couple was fairly well clothed (and not transparent) but a few older women next to me walked out because they thought the scene was smutty!
I think tomorrow I will head to the Amber Fort and ride an elephant.
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