Day 7

Toby's Indian Adventure


Well it's been a week now and I am almost out of my depth but coping. Here in Mathura nothing is in English and so communicating is not as easy as it could be. My bag is starting to disintegrate mainly because it is over-packed. I am now more at home with the currency. I am definitely seen as a man with money.

I have been trying to get a sack to put my rucksack in so that it is less obvious and also for security. This is a place where I don't feel comfortable having my camera which is a pity as there are nice things everywhere. I went down to the gahts today out on a boat which the man was very insistent that I should go in it - and why not. Monkeys everywhere here. Although it is a Hindu city they seem to have a lot less respect for the cows several of which I saw being hit with sticks.

I must now go to the station to attempt my trip to Agra once more.

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Agra - Mumtaj hotel, fan slowly turning, chanting in the background. Bit of an auto-rickshaw adventure. My man Tamal has been buzzing me around to various places where he has been after commissions but he seems to understand me a little and at the jeweller friend of his, Khan I didn't even get shown any silver. Sat around and had some coffee and a bit of a chat. The people here seem to see me as a source of many things especially money and cigarettes and seem to think that I do not know how anything works or what the prices are. Best experienced at the Thali house where they tried to charge me twice as much and say that you couldn't get any seconds. Pah! who do they think they are dealing with. I did however impress them with my Hindi especially the counting from one to ten (a feat that I am very proud of). They weren't so impressed that my aerosol was mosquito repellent rather than some impressive western scent. Anyway I seem popular and a novelty especially with the young boys, who are never impressed with my signing that the are too small and that cigarettes kill. Still education for them.

I managed to get rid of my 10 rupee note with the burn in it today. It was to a beggar after I had given them some money already. I sort of explained and they understood. Most of the beggars I have met have been good people who are thankful not greedy for more.

Tomorrow I go to breakfast at the jewellers - an obvious mistake but we will see. I think Tamal realises that I will not buy anything and has explained this to Kahn- who knows. Tamal does seem to think that I am destined to have sex with the French woman who was there.

Soon I need to go somewhere and stay for a while. This moving around is too much effort with so much stuff - most of it I wish I hadn't brought. When I come again I will bring nothing!