Tag Archives: Taj Mahal

Together We’ve Loved

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This year could have shattered us, but instead it made us stronger. On the occasion of our wedding anniversary I offer my own tribute to love.

True Loves

Every time this year felt too hard, too lonely, too foreign; you made me smile.

Every time I wanted to give up, go back, get comfortable;  you kept me grounded.

Every time I got lost, confused, flustered; you helped me find my way.

Traveling together taught us to be more understanding of each others differences, and how to be compassionate towards one another even when we can’t understand.

This year was meaningful in ways I could have never imagined, but the most important thing I discovered is that I can live anywhere in the world; as long as you’re with me, I’m home.

 

 

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At Last: The Taj Mahal

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It seemed the universe was bound and  determined to keep us from seeing the Taj Mahal. As you may recall, our first  attempt was thwarted by the bankruptcy of Kingfisher airline. (Hey KF, still waiting on that refund…) On our second attempt Tal and I planned to meet in Delhi on his return from a business trip. Both of our flights were delayed, but I landed about 2 hours ahead. I went ahead into the city to check into the hotel that I had (of course) thoroughly researched (Yea, I cross reference. What?) and booked online several weeks prior. At least, I tried to. When I arrived at the hotel I was told that they were fully booked.

“Thank goodness I have a reservation then!!” I laughed. I should know by now to never laugh.

“Sorry Madame we are fully booked”

“Right…but  one of those bookings is mine.”

“Sorry Madame we are fully booked.”

Silence and glaring.

“I could try to help find you a room elsewhere?”

An hour later I was rebooked into a different, very different, hotel in the same neighborhood. So much for my research.

We spent the next day wandering around Delhi and visiting with an old friend of mine from college. In the evening we made our way to the train station headed for Agra. I will never. Ever. Never. complain about a crowded NYC train platform ever again. Making our way to our car on the train was terrifying (Tal would probably use the word “exhilarating”, but Tal is crazy.) People were everywhere  and everyone was running in different directions, pushing and shoving, urinating, shouting, spitting… I saw one man climb UNDER the train for free ride. Miraculously we didn’t lose each other in the crowds, and we made it into our berth on the train with plenty of time to spare. Despite the fact that we bought our train tickets together, we were seated in two upper berths, no where near each other. I’m not sure if it was the horrified and bewildered look on my face, the unbelievably apparent reality that we’d never done this before or simply good fortune, but the man who was on the bottom berth of Tal’s seat climbed up top, and allowed Tal and me stay together.

We arrived in Agra four hours later and took a cab to our hotel. I’d booked this particular hotel because of their amazing proximity to the Taj Mahal.

The hotel was no where near the Taj Mahal. This is what I get for reading 100 reviews about cleanliness but never once looking at a map.

The next day we left our hotel just after 6am and took a very chilly half hour auto rickshaw ride to the Taj Mahal. Our goal was to get there and get through the ticket line in time for sunrise. For once, everything went according to plan. Just as we were congratulating each other on our oh-so-unique and cunning plan, we came across the line to get INTO the Taj Mahal. For some totally inexplicable reason, men and women were queued separately. While the men were being allowed in immediately, the women were being held in line.  Tal passed through the gate a solid 20 minute before I did. One of us saw the sunrise at the Taj Mahal, one of us saw the sunrise over the top of about 400 heads.

But eventually I made it in and it was worth the canceled trip, the delayed flight, the botched hotel plans,the other botched hotel plans, the cold auto rides, and the weirdly sexist wait in line. And I’d do it all again.