30 December 2013

Day 21

Train handles and garlands.

29 December 2013

28 December 2013

Day 19

Gandhi's library.

27 December 2013

26 December 2013

25 December 2013

Day 16

An unusual and awesome Christmas Day.

24 December 2013

23 December 2013

Day 14

Carrots and more shoes.

22 December 2013

Day 13

The world's largest sundial.  And a motorbike.

21 December 2013

20 December 2013

19 December 2013

Day 10

Santa!











Just kidding: Taj Mahal! 

18 December 2013

Day 9

Brotherly love.

17 December 2013

16 December 2013

Day 7

Finally.

15 December 2013

Day 6

An amazing tractor, and more amazing Ajanta Caves.  Such a long story about them, I'll tell you later...or wikipedia can. 

14 December 2013

Day 5

Cave 16 at Ellora Caves, built in the 6th century AD. 
But more exciting:  a baby monkey!

13 December 2013

Day 4

Full service taxi. 

12 December 2013

Day 3

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal or CST or Victoria Terminal, or VT.

11 December 2013

Day 2

Okay, so only on day two and I cannot narrow it down to one picture.  So here are three, and I haven't even included the stereotypical cow in the street picture. 

10 December 2013

India Day 1

There is so much to take in here, I know that I cannot do it justice in words until I have time to process it all. But, as a tease, I've decided to put an abbreviated version of a picture a day project for the rest of December. That is, as long as I can recharge the lappy, which remains to be seen. So, Day 1, flying over UAE.

09 December 2013

Day 0

No weather is going to make me late!  10 hours early to the airport...plenty of seating.

05 December 2013

Black Thursday

For the first time ever, I was coerced/forced/dragged to a post Thanksgiving shopping event.  There is a clear cast of black Friday shopping characters.  "The Planner" is strategic, cunning, and comes clutching competitors ads. They probably have a wing woman or two to grab and growl on their behalf.
"The Bloodthirsty One" will do whatever it takes, including throw themselves on a pile of crock pots while shouting "I'm buying all of these, nobody touch them!" at the top of their voice.  They'll enter the store with three carts, not just to fill them, but also as personal crowd control.
"The Ninja" took something out of your hands and checked out before you knew it.  Cart-less, ruthless, and back in the car within five minutes.
Those unfortunate enough to find themselves as "The Newbie" can't find a parking place, a cart, what they came for, and is at the end of every line.  They skipped Thanksgiving dessert for this crap.  
I went as "The Casual Observer."  An annoyance to the other shoppers.  The one who doesn't want or need anything, but will take in all this humanity with a glassy stare and slacked jaw.

We entered the 24 hour store quite calmly, no chance of stampeding or general craziness.  My friend became so excited, giddy even.  In fact, more excited than I've ever seen her, and I was there for the birth of her child.

There is a visceral, psychological force at work at these sales.  The thrill of the hunt is a real, a primal instinct.  Instead of hunting nutrition and sustenance, we are hunting the cheapest television or new laptop.  In that sense, I can forgive the excitement as it's in our blood and even I can appreciate a deal. 

There I was, standing in the middle of the snake pit feeling smugly above it all.  Hanging in a nearby tree with binoculars and a notepad to observe the predators and their prey.  Acting like the foreign reporter watching the bizarre coming of age ritual of a native people, when suddenly a panic washed over me.  The panic of 'I need something'.  I didn't know what I needed, but I was surrounded by 'deals' and surrounded by other seemingly reasonable people who were willingly waiting in line for these deals.  Certainly, my subconscious said, I too, should be acquiring things.  Think of the savings!  Throw your perfectly good TV away!  GPS, yes!  Game console, blu-ray player, power wheels?  Things!  I raced toward the stack of uniformly stacked boxes, violently shoving an old lady to the ground.  I strong-armed a kid and took their Elmo doll for no reason whatsoever.  I began to climb and was truly on the mountaintop as I perched myself on my claim, high above the rabble.  I taunted the uninitiated as I shook my reward above my head. "I don't even need this!"
But then I slapped myself. Somebody had to do it.

I went in wanting nothing but to witness a fist fight over something stupid, but after learning that in other stores people were actually killed, I mean KILLED, I was happy to have witnessed such a civilized bunch of shoppers.  At the end of the day, I guess I'm glad I now have this uniquely American experience under my belt.  I feel less blood thirsty and somewhat understanding of the whole thing.  Though, it is ruining one of the top two American holidays, and for that, I am sorry.   


pic stolen from http://www.websitegeographer.com (Not an endorsement, I just liked the carts)