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Post Wedding Trip
After the wedding, we decided to have a trip around Rajasthan with folks from both families. We visited Delhi proper, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur. As a full group, we didn’t have time to visit Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and some further spots. But it appeared that everyone really enjoyed the trip. Despite some long spells on the bus between major cities.
All of us at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon. Great amusement park to bring kids…
We decided to head to Sadar Bazaar in Gurgaon. Chris’s face outside the auto rickshaw was that of utter amazement that he was still in one piece…
Sadar Bazaar. This isn’t a normal market or shopping center in India. This is a local market for cheap stuff where you can find anything and everything. Fantastic place to break foreign folks in. 🙂
Our group at Qutab Minar, Delhi:
Our group at Lotus Temple, Delhi:
My cousin Matt and Aunt Ginny enjoying some quality/bumpy time on the bus.
At some other random Temple. I think this was Hunaman’s Tomb, Delhi:
No trip to India would be complete without seeing one of the seven wonders of the world. Every time i see it, it still has the ability to humble me. On this particular trip – we stayed in Agra so that we could see it in the evening and early the next morning. I like the morning shots from Metab Bagh better.
A quick celebratory cake at Wyndam Grand, Agra:
Taj Mahal in the AM, i have to say, it’s really worth waking up at 6am and dodging the morning traffic to come to Metab Bagh to view the Taj. We had the park all to ourselves for the most part. Even the birds were asleep, so it was rather nice having silence in the early morning. The mist and fog added a certain mystique to the scene, which i thought was really cool:
The tomb of Akbar The Great. Love the light on this, wish i could extend it further in photoshop:
Today we spent in Jaipur. The pink city. We saw some great sites and really fell into a rhythm regarding our timings indoors and out.
Hawa Mahal, palace of Windows:
Everyone trying to cross the street, no easy task…
Elephant rides up to Amber Fort:
Fresh coconut water and paste. While i personally don’t like coconut i can appreciate the freshness and how good it must taste. Here in India, you drink the juice first, at the cart. Once complete, you ask the coconut-wala to cut it open further and make a spoon out of the siding for eating the coconut paste at the bottom, apparently very tasty!
We figured a lot of folks were getting home-food-sick, so we made a stop at none other than Pizza Hut. Everyone including Renu and myself were pleasantly surprised at how close the taste was to home!
I love this photo, advanced transformer, people hanging clothes off it. Awesome.
Mad props to this lady, if she falls, she falls into Cactus. Ouch.
Hooks? No thanks.
All was going well with putting out the fire, well until the ‘in’flammable propane gas tank exploded.
Our awesome bus.
Renu and her Sister.
Gas is hard to come by here for some reason:
Not a bad place to wake up to:
Hanging in the lobby:
Just some random cows in the road from Udaipur to Ranakpur.
Ranakpur Jain Temple, amazing place.
Can’t come all the way to Ranakpur and not feed some monkeys… they are quite nice. Well, until you don’t feed them.
Udaipur, what a beautiful city.
Well that was the end of our tour. I’ve decided to keep posting experiences here in this same blog post despite the fact that there are over 500 images already here. It’s serving as a public diary for us.
We cannot thank Vivek from Elegant Journeys enough! With so many mediocre tour guides here in India, he truly is a cut above the rest!
Car Buying Experience
Oh boy, this is a big one… So today we went to Superon Hyundai in Gurgaon. We were determined to get Renu’s father to replace his 2006 Maruti Alto. We’ve been on the hunt for something new. We were stuck between the Hyundai i20 Asta or the Suzuki Swift Zxi. Where does one start talking about the car buying experience here…. Firstly, almost no cars are in stock. Only the unpopular ones are plentiful. The Hyundai i20 and the Suzuki Swift are very popular here, so the wait times are anywhere from 4-8 weeks. I also saw on the board that the Suzuki dzire has something like a 20 week wait time. Turns out the i20 is made in Chennai and the Swift is made here in Gurgaon.
I’ve never purchased a car here in India – so i knew some aspects would be an eye opening experience for me. To start – the dealerships. They aren’t particularly inviting. They don’t even let you park in their parking lot, you are expected to park on the street. That would never fly in the US…. Then, when you walk in, nobody comes up to you asking if you are interested in some help. So you have to track someone down from sales. Once you do that, you ask for a test drive. It seems that we always miss the window for a test drive. Always.
Finally, we had a test drive in a Suzuki Swift tonight… car was ok. But most of the optional features are things that come standard in the US. This is to be expected in an emerging market. But then there are surprises…. things like reverse cameras available on both models. Go figure.
We’ve yet to settle on a car yet, but the whole process thus-far has been a real headache. Imagine walking into a dealership, being told there are no cars to test drive, they are out of brochures on the car. And there is a 4-8 week wait for the car. What do they think? That makes me want to put down a downpayment? I have no idea what sales model they follow here. The whole experience has been rather perplexing.
Tonight we had a small celebration for Sunny’s birthday…
Today I had the luxury of going with Renu to the mini-secretariat. Which is essentially a small governmental office of which you can perform local legal proceedings such as land deals, marriage/divorce etc… We were here to do a power-of-attorney transfer for land between Renu and her Dad. I’m not sure how the power-of-attorney transfer occurs in the US, but i assume it’s something along the lines of two parties attending a notary in which they both sign a paper and it goes into legal files regarding a piece of land, or the letter becomes the personal property amongst the two parties.
Let me preface the following paragraphs with the fact that I’ve been to India several times, including a couple for non-tourist purposes. Well, upon arriving at the mini-secretariat i was flabbergasted that attorneys (Advocates in Indian speak) actually operate in open-air market like settings:
I was stuck sitting for some time so i decided to open the law book on our Advocates desk and much to my amusement (And I’m quite positive, yours….) i saw the following laws/scenarios listed:
Holy carp! This is the sort of thing that gives India the ass-backwards reputation it sometimes gets. But this is real… (Again, please note, i absolutely love India. It’s a country-in-progress. Just as the US is…I mean it no harm, but i couldn’t believe, page after page of these obscure and extremely specific laws).
Later the next day, we went to complete this process. Which meant we had to pay about 4-5 different people varying amounts and visit about 9-10 different windows. It actually reminded me a lot of this (The bureaucracy part.).
Hi Brendan, it’s been awhile since we last seen or spoken to each other. I love your site and the pictures of your trips look amazing. I’m glad you’ve settled down and found someone to share your life with. Not sure I’ll ever meet her in person but I’m sure she is as lovely as you’ve stated in your blog. I’m truly happy for you. Take care and be well.