Beautiful Taj- my first vacation of this year

If I have a choice I would love to travel every few days and come back home only when I terribly miss home food and people ( yes food comes first for me). So this year started with a vacation on 1st Jan and we (my partner & I) had company for this special tour. Actually this trip was planned for him. He was my partner’s 21 year old nephew who was visiting us from USA. He wanted to see INDIA and we selected places that even we wanted to see. So we went to Ooty for first 4 days and then north INDIA i.e. Jaipur, Delhi and Agra. My motive was to see Taj.

But travelling with a foreigner in India comes with a set of pros and cons.

The foreigner I was travelling with was super friendly and adjusting. Being gluten intolerant it was difficult for him to adjust to the food in India. And being a foodie we were really freaking out specially in Delhi.

Every place we travelled, because of him and sometimes we look like foreigners, we were getting different treatment and that was rather funny and interesting. So basically skin colour matters in INDIA and that’s absolutely sad.

Some places we had to prove that we are Indians and not trying to save money so we had to show our identity cards there, which was frustrating.

So for Agra we booked a luxury tour (by Indian standards) it was a day trip by ac super fast train with pickup, drop and a personal tour guide to show us Agra monuments and most importantly the Taj. So we were picked up early in the morning from our Delhi hotel and dropped comfortably in the fancy super fast train. Again the person swho dropped us thought we are foreigners so we had to mention that we are Indian but our nephew is from USA.

The train was very comfortable and it was super fast with lots of food coming our way and forgot to mention the whole bogie was full with foreigners.

Everything was surprisingly on time and perfect. We reached Agra on time and our guide waved us with our name placard. He welcomed us with garlands just like they welcome foreigners. It was the first time for me that someone welcomed me with a garland. Then he took us to the famous Taj.

We walked from the entrance to the main entrance where you are not allowed to carry anything. You have to go through security check and because we were in foreigner line it was swift. Guide was giving us detailed history information. I love history and it was delightful to walk with our private guide.

It’s a really awesome place to visit, no wonder it’s a one of the wonders of the world and the symbol of India. Then our guide got us a special cameraman to click some typical pictures. It’s a trap, they click more photos and we ultimately buy most of our pictures saying we are not going visit again. But when I came back home and saw that album I felt what a waste.

From there our guide took us for lunch to the Agra Marriott. And it was just wonderful place. Food was really tasty and worth visiting. Again this place was full of foreigners.

After a very yummy lunch with heavy tummy we started our Agra city monuments tour and it was absolutely fantastic. So after all the sightseeing in some conversation the guide asked me where I stay in USA and I said I am from India, this is our nephew visiting from USA his face and all the treatment he was giving us changed. He was suddenly not interested. My partner feels I read too much.

We got into our return train and said bye to our guide and Agra.

I suddenly remember where is that mental hospital that everyone talks about when they talk about Agra. It’s equally famous other than the Taj.

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