It is with great regret that I announce that, due to irreconcilable differences, Riccardo and I have decided… to split up.
Let me explain. First of all, it’s actually quite cold in the north right now – well into the single digits at night! We certainly didn’t leave a Canadian winter to freeze in India. But beyond the weather, we just felt ready to see other people. And… eat beef. Thus, we scrapped our tentative plans for a whirlwind tour of Rajasthan, and have instead decided (after one final, bittersweet masala dosa in Delhi) to move on… to Bangkok!
Our time in India has been incredible and surreal, and we regret nothing. I’m looking forward to formulating my thoughts on our experiences there – stay tuned for that (I know you’re on the edge of your seat). Our last couple of days there were the tiniest bit taxing: a royal schlep by bus, train, and tuk-tuk from Ranthambhore to Agra, and a visit to the Taj Mahal whose timeless marvels were slightly overshadowed by the various annoyances endured in order to get to it.
The last day at Ranthambhore was fun – the fort we visited was actually very cool (and completely overrun with gigantic langur monkeys), we came close to another tiger sighting (just seeing the reactions of the deer and monkeys was crazy enough), and we met (and shared a few Kingfishers with) a fun couple from Edmonton who have been globetrotting for 7 months. Sitting on the roof of our guest house early one evening, we looked down to see one of the staff nip out on a motorcycle, returning a few minutes later with another case of Kingfisher – apparently, four Canadians in the house were depleting their supplies at a steady clip. A side effect of our Ranthambhore trip is a newfound obsession with tigers. There are fewer than 1000 wild tigers in India! Can you believe that? (See…?)
Taj notwithstanding, the city of Agra yielded some hidden treasures – one of the coolest experiences we had there was watching a young boy training a group of homing pigeons from his rooftop, against the backdrop of the Taj (we remain unclear as to the purpose of the exercise, but it made for an arresting visual). We also amused ourselves racing on foot through dark but still bustling back alleys in pursuit of a caravan of camels, only to lose the trail when a group of curious locals stopped us for the obligatory chat. Perhaps our most memorable experience of all, though, was a well-earned escapade to Pizza Hut (a restaurant we never, ever go to at home, but seemed at that moment like a shining beacon of order and civility).
Speaking of order and civility, we might be slightly biased after a month in India, but Thailand has been treating us well so far. More soon!
(Note for Riccardo’s mum: We haven’t really broken up! That was just a joke! Sorry!!)