This afternoon we were driven from Delhi to Agra. The drive itself isn’t that far, though traffic is an absolute nightmare. The first and last couple of miles probably took half of the five hour drive.
I’ve been to lots of countries with crazy roads, though India has to be the most interesting place in the world to drive. Cows are roaming freely and forms of transportation range from BMW 7 series to tuk-tuks to horses, all on the same road.
The highlight of the drive had to be when we crossed state borders enroute to Agra. Our driver had to stop to go pay some tax and left us in the car. Given that my friend and I both look like tourists, several people approached our car and stood in front of our windows trying to sell us stuff, from bottled water to mini chess sets.
Then a boy came up to our car with a wicker basket, opened the top, and out popped a cobra. I’ve gotta be honest, I’m terrified of snakes. TERRIFIED. They’re my worst fear, other than paper cuts. He kept telling us to take a picture of the cobra (obviously wanting us to pay him for the picture) and wouldn’t give up. The snake was in my face for nearly a minute before he gave up. I wish I could have paid him to never do that to me. Tonight I’m sure he’ll be haunting me in my dreams.
I never thought I’d enjoy a five hour drive, but the entire ride was fascinating. The other interesting thing was that as we drove, nearly everyone stared at us. It wasn’t just quick glances, but people gazed at us and then pointed us out to others in their cars/tuk-tuks. I guess they don’t see a whole lot of westerners.
More to come later and with the trip report. I will say though that India wasn’t necessarily at the top of my list of places to see before I took this trip, though it’s quickly turning into one of the most interesting places I’ve been.