Day One/ Night One

Time stamp: 7:45 a.m. 22/August

We’re on our way to Agra/Jaipur nearing the Delhi State border.

Of course the morning did not start without event. Dan and I set our alarm clocks for 5, thirty minutes before our kind Rickshaw driver, Bidu, would pick us up. I slept at 3:25a.m. completing an article. The next time I heard Dan’s voice, it was panic-stricken. It was 6 a.m. and all alarm clocks were staring at us with an imaginary smirk plastered on their faces. We must have removed all alarms and gone right back to bed. *sigh*

So far, Delhi is pleasant. The heat isn’t crucifying, yet. Im enjoying the rickshaw rides tremendously. I lie. It was my first lowest moment.

Yesternight was my first stress-peak point. We made our way to one of the railway stations, eager to buy tickets to Agra (where the Taj Mahal is located). We stood in line, which was inching towards the attendant at a good enough pace. Right before our turn, a gentleman turns to Dan and I warning us “this line is only for man, that line for women.” Without incident, I shifted lines as shock manifested within. What the hell? Where do they still do that??? Apparently, at this train station. Dan managed to buy a ticket for 2 adults that indicated in both Hindi and little English, Delhi-Somewhere-Dailpur. Who and where is Dailpur??? Im pretty sure Dan was very clear A G R A. Anyway, we decided to ask around, to confirm if we had bought the right ticket. After painstakingly listening to 4 people explain in broken English that we had bought the wrong ticket, which had left thirty minutes earlier and only for men (yes, you read that right) we decided it was time to check out the Enquiry desk.

The enquiry attendant confirmed our fears: we had been sold the wrong tickets to the wrong destination and could not be refunded because our train had already left. Filled with fury, my stress levels mounted and I started to say things Im not very proud of. We needed to hear a familiar voice directing us so we decided to set up a cellphone and call someone we knew vacationing in India. I approached a young man who looked college-aged and asked him where we could buy an Airtel sim card. Now I know how it feels to encounter a good samaritan. Uwajjal told us he had enough time to help us locate a store. We walked for a few minutes before he summoned one of the rickshaws driven by another samaritan, Bidu. On reaching a store, we were firmly rejected because none of us had our passports/visas. I really appreciate how easy it is to get a phone line in Uganda more than ever. Uwajjal and Bidu then told us it was better to hire a private car if we wanted the safest way to travel to Agra. After the experience at the station, that sounded like heavenly music to our ears.

So here we are, journeying to one of the most beautiful buildings ever made. The aching reminder of my empty stomach pales in comparison to how my heart feels when I remember a man built it for a woman. ¡Que Romantico!

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