Pics on side link!
Today I rode an elephant. It was scary, funny, bouncy, and a whole smattering of other adjectives that I just can’t even think of. Today was one of the most fun days since I got here because we saw elephants all over town and were surrounded by absolutely beautiful scenery. We went to a mountainside palace where you had to ride an elephant to get up to the palace and then we took jeeps down. I have learned since getting here that apparently I am really afraid of large animals. Walking really close to the cows with big horns freaks me out, and being around the elephants was really frightening. They are HUGE!!!
The palace was built several hundred years ago and had separate quarters for the king and his twelve wives. Basically the wives had nothing to do because everything was done for them so they just sat around and plotted how to get their own son onto the throne. No men were allowed to see them except for the king and their guards even had to be eunuchs so that there was no risk of a “man” being around them. I read a book that took place during this time period before I went that had a story occurring in this type of palace so it was really cool to actually see one.
Jaipur is really beautiful and the whole city is painted terra cotta color but they call it the “pink city.” After the elephant ride we went to see a place that hand-makes blue pottery for which Jaipur is famous, who knew? I really had to restrain while we were at the “Blue Pottery Barn” as we were calling it because there is NO WAY I can get it in my bag to come home. I haven’t really blogged about the amount of shopping that we have done here, but just know that it has been copious! But, I have still only spent about $200 of my own money on this entire trip, which has mostly been for laundry and occasional room service. I sure do love Fulbright! Thanks, Uncle Sam!
Tomorrow we have a school visit (one of our last) and then early Wednesday morning we head to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. I can’t believe I am going there, let me just say that. The whole time we were on the elephant today (it was like 15-20 minutes) I just kept saying, “I am on an elephant. Um, hi, we are on an elephant riding up the side of a palace in India.” It was CRAZY!!!!! I don’t think the magnitude of the trip will hit me until I am home, we have done a lot here!
P.S.- I also saw a snake charmer today. Keep in mind that I am in a very touristy area but come on, this guy had a cobra coming out of a basket! Who does that?