India – Style Hi Club http://www.stylehiclub.com StyleHiClub: Exceptional Adventures for Life Beyond the Cubicle Sun, 04 Dec 2016 04:29:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Join us in India in February 2017! http://www.stylehiclub.com/tours/india-oct-2017/ Sat, 16 Jul 2016 18:13:52 +0000 http://www.stylehiclub.com/?p=8236 We’ll be hosting a very special small-group trip to India from the 17th to the 26th of February 2017 to experience the incredible culture, history and natural beauty of this dynamic and ever-changing country. This very special itinerary will take us across India to to engage, experience and immerse in some of the most important cities and cultural sites in the country. HIGHLIGHTS: […]

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IndiaHeaderScreen Shot 2016-07-16 at 9.48.15 PMWe’ll be hosting a very special small-group trip to India from the 17th to the 26th of February 2017 to experience the incredible culture, history and natural beauty of this dynamic and ever-changing country. This very special itinerary will take us across India to to engage, experience and immerse in some of the most important cities and cultural sites in the country.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Bollywood Studios experience and interactive performance in Mumbai
  • Elephant interaction in Jaipur including feeding, painting and riding
  • Fly over Jaipur in a hot air balloon and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Amber Fort
  • Enjoy a cooking demonstration and home cooked dinner in a private home in Jaipur
  • Experience the legendary Taj Mahal
  • Explore the back streets of Delhi on the Salaam Baalak Trust City Walk

ITINERARY:

Day 1 – Welcome to India!

Our tour of India begins in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. It has a history of incredible transformation from its foundation to the present day, where small islands were strung together and land between them reclaimed to form the bustling metropolis it is today. A metropolis in the true sense of the world, the city has loads to see during the day and a vibrant life at night. Our tour begins with a very special welcome dinner located near the hotel on Marine Drive. Overnight at the Trident Nariman Point.  (D)

Day 2 – Mumbai

After an early breakfast we drive to Girgaum Chowpatty to experience Mumbai in one of the most unique ways possible – from a kayak! We’ll explore Marine Drive by kayak as an introduction to the city. Next, we’ll see the Afghan Church and Haji Ali Mosque nearby and visit the amazing Hanging Gardens. We’ll also visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi spent 17 years of his life as well as the iconic Gateway to India. In the afternoon we’ll visit one of the Bollywood Studios to view the location sets and hopefully some live shooting as well as try out a bit of Bollywood Dancing of our own. Overnight at the Trident Nariman Point. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Samode

This morning after an early breakfast you’ll be transferred to the airport to connect to your flight to Jaipur. Upon arrival in Jaipur, we’ll drive to the hotel in Samode and check in and head to lunch. Samode is a large town in Rajasthan that’s great to explore on foot. In the afternoon  you can either walk the streets or go on an optional Camel Safari before we meet up for dinner in the evening Overnight at Samode Bagh in luxuriously appointed Royal tents. (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Elephant Experience

This morning will be at leisure to enjoy the Royal Tents of Samode Bagh. Later we will drive from Samode to Jaipur, which will take one hour. Jaipur is the largest and fastest growing city in the state of Rajasthan and is India’s first planned city, dating back to 1727. In the afternoon we will get up close to Indian elephants with an elephant experience that will let us touch, feed paint and even ride them. Overnight at the ITC Rajputana(B, D)

Day 5 – Hot Air Balloon

Today starts very early with a hot air balloon ride over Jaipur. Our one hour ride is dependent on weather but generally starts near Amber Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and offers some of the most spectacular views of the city. We’ll have a chance to visit Amber Fort itself later on as well as the Hawa Mahal, or Place of Winds. Later in the day we’ll visit Neerja Blue Pottery as well as the old part of Jaipur which is home to many local bazaars. In the evening we’ll enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner in a private home. Overnight at the ITC Rajputana(B, L, D)

Day 6 – The Taj Mahal

Early this morning we transfer to Jaipur Railway Station to board our train, the Shatabdi Express, to Agra. Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire and sits on the banks of the Yamuna River. On arrival into Agra, we will be taken on a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal, largely considered one of the most incredible pieces of architecture on Earth. We’ll have plenty of time to explore the Taj before checking in to the hotel and enjoying dinner. Overnight at the ITC Mughal(B, L, D)

Day 7 – Agra to Delhi

This morning we’ll start early with a morning yoga session led by a local instructor followed by a leisurely breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll visit Agra Fort, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered the best example of Mughal architecture in India. Later in the afternoon we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Agra with tastings of sweets and snacks along the way before heading to the Agra Railway station to board the train to Delhi. Delhi is one of India’s most vibrant cities and has played the role of capital to various Indian dynasties. This is the center of India’s art, culture, culinary, shopping and entertainment scenes and a beautiful homogenous mix of the old and the contemporary. On arrival we’ll enjoy dinner and check into the hotel. Overnight at The Lalit(B, L, D)

Day 8 – Delhi

This morning after breakfast we’ll experience the Salaam Baalak Trust City Walk to explore the back streets of Delhi and visit the children of the Salaam Baalak orphanage first hand. We’ll explore the Paharganj area through a walking tour guided by someone that was once living and working on the streets. This is an experience way off the beaten track. Later in the afternoon we’ll visit the famous Jama Masjid, India’s largest and most spectacular mosque. We’ll board pedicabs to converse the busy and crowded streets of Chandini Chowk which is Delhi’s largest wholesale market including the largest spice market and jewelry row of Kinari Bazaar. In the evening we’ll visit India Gate and enjoy an evening street food tour in Delhi. Overnight at The Lalit(B, L, D)

Day 9 – Departure

After breakfast you’ll transfer to airport to fly back to the United States or onward to the post-trip in Goa. (B)


What’s it Cost?

Price is $3,850/person sharing.

What’s Included?

  • Escort throughout entire trip
  • All Activities and associated transportation
  • All Entrance Fees
  • All Meals (minus one lunch in Jaipur that’s meant for free time)
  • All trains  within domestic itinerary
  • All Guiding Fees
  • Flights within India as per itinerary
  • All Refreshments (excluding alcoholic beverages)
  • All Accommodations

What’s Not Included?

  • International Airfare to and from India (BOM & DEL)
  • Passport and Visa Requirements (an electronic travel authorization is required for US passport holders and can be completed online prior to arriving into India)
  • Optional Camel Safari in Samode
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Mandatory Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities for Porters and Guides
  • Any Costs for Food or Activities Enjoyed Separate from the Group

OPTIONAL POST-TRIP EXCURSION TO GOA

Restaurants on Benaulim Beach-2For those interested, an optional four day, three night extension to Goa is available. It includes three nights accommodations at the Alila Diwa Hotel, transfer, tours, beach and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle, entrance charges, spice plantation tour with fixed menu lunch, optional SCUBA diving add-on and domestic flights from Delhi to Goa. Cost is $950 per person sharing.

Contact Us Now to Book!

*Please note all elements of itinerary subject to change due to weather, logistics or availability. An itinerary is a living-breathing thing and it will continue to be improved up until and throughout the trip itself.  Only 10 spots available. $500 deposit is required to hold space.
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Jumping Around the World http://www.stylehiclub.com/europe/france/jumping-around-the-world/ http://www.stylehiclub.com/europe/france/jumping-around-the-world/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:26:28 +0000 http://www.stylehiclub.com/?p=6658 It’s no secret, we love to travel. Somewhere around 2006 or so we started to express our love of travel by literally jumping for joy in our photos. It all began in Egypt actually with a group jumping shot in front of the Great Pyramid. Since then, we’ve been jumping around the world. Sometimes it […]

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It’s no secret, we love to travel. Somewhere around 2006 or so we started to express our love of travel by literally jumping for joy in our photos. It all began in Egypt actually with a group jumping shot in front of the Great Pyramid. Since then, we’ve been jumping around the world. Sometimes it takes more than a few tries to get a perfect jumping shot but when it works there is really something special about it. Below is a collection of some of our favorites and most meaningful from all around the world. Do you ever take photos like this when traveling? I’d love to see them posted in the comments!

The original jump. Me and four of the best people I know mid-air with the Great Pyramids of Giza behind us.

The original jump – me and three of the best people I know in mid-air with the Great Pyramids of          Giza behind us

Blyde River Canyon along South Africa's Panoramic Route in Mpumalanga

Blyde River Canyon along South Africa’s Panoramic Route in Mpumalanga

This one kinda goes without saying - the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

This one kinda goes without saying – the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

This one was done with a timer on the very first try at Bakyeon Waterfall Pavillion in North Korea

This one was done with a timer on the very first try at Bakyeon Waterfall Pavillion in North Korea

The unbelievably beautiful Anse Lazio beach in the Seychelles - it's hard not to jump for joy there

The unbelievably beautiful Anse Lazio beach in the Seychelles – it’s hard not to jump for joy there

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Australia

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Australia

We even jump at home - Chandra at the Brooklyn Bridge

We even jump at home – Chandra at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

Here I am fluttering through Carcassonne Castle in France

Here I am fluttering through Carcassonne Castle in France

South Africa's stunning coastline and the town of Hermanus

South Africa’s stunning coastline and the town of Hermanus

After you've run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, it's pretty easy to jump like this

After you’ve run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, it’s pretty easy to jump like this

The stunning Grand Mosque of Muscat, Oman

The stunning Grand Mosque of Muscat, Oman

The famous Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia

The famous Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia

I have a ton of photos of me jumping in Sydney with the Opera House, but none are nearly as good as this one of my Mom when she visited

I have a ton of photos of me jumping in Sydney with the Opera House, but none are nearly as good as this one of my Mom when she visited

Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool in Washington DC

Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool in Washington DC

Jumping in between two continents at the Continental Rift outside Reykjavik Iceland

Jumping in between two continents at the Continental Rift outside Reykjavik Iceland

Chandra and I jump in the immaculate Old City of Dubrovnik in Croatia

Chandra and I jump in the immaculate Old City of Dubrovnik in Croatia

I couldn't resist including another one from Egypt

I couldn’t resist including another one from Egypt

Chandra looking statuesque in Prague, Czech Republic

Chandra looking statuesque in Prague, Czech Republic

Jumping outside my ancestral home in Sicily

Jumping outside my ancestral home in Sicily

An eerie jump at the eerie XXX in Vik, Iceland

A cautious jump at the eerie Reynisdiangur in Vik, Iceland

Sossusvlei dune jumping in Namibia

Sossusvlei dune jumping in Namibia

Tienenman Square during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games

Tienenman Square during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games

One last jumping selfie taken by timer with Saint Basil's in Moscow's Red Square

One last jumping selfie taken by timer with Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square

Have you ever taken photos like these while traveling? We’d love to see them in the comments.

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The Top 10 Street Markets, Bazaars and Souks in the World http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/bazaars-souks-fleamarkets-top-10-street-markets-world/ Tue, 12 Mar 2013 14:10:21 +0000 http://www.stylehiclub.com/?p=3930 Exploring street markets can be the highlight of any destination and I’ve been lucky enough to explore my fair share from around the world.  The following are my top ten favorites and they span the globe from South East Asia to Africa to the Middle East and Australia.  Have you been to a market that […]

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Exploring street markets can be the highlight of any destination and I’ve been lucky enough to explore my fair share from around the world.  The following are my top ten favorites and they span the globe from South East Asia to Africa to the Middle East and Australia.  Have you been to a market that I missed?  Don’t agree with my ranking?  Tell me about it in the comments.

#10 – Colaba Causeway (Mumbai, India)

Chandra & Mariza in JewelryIf you’re exploring Mumbai and walking around searching for Colaba Causeway Market and unable to find anything other then random stalls lining Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, it’s because you’ve actually already found Colaba Causeway and are standing in the middle of it!  This outdoor shopping street layers commercial shops with unending rows of stalls selling everything from sextants and other nautical equipment to saris to statues.  I suppose it’s difficult in a city like Bombay with a population of 18+ million people to fit in a major street market so Colaba Causeway seems to just fill in the gaps layered above normal society.  The street can be impossible to walk down, often times single file and sometimes totally impossible when someone stops to actually make a purchase.  This is not the type of market where everyone is selling the same thing either. This is a treasure hunt and as you explore you’ll have the opportunity to buy everything from telescopes to jewelry to custom made saris made from scratch and ready for pickup two hours later.  Difficult to find what you’re looking for, but a great place to find something you don’t yet know you want.

#9 – Bến Thành Market (Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam)

Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City VietnamOn any trip to Saigon this giant indoor landmark is impossible to miss and worth the trip.  If you aren’t Vietnamese, prepare to be mobbed, grabbed at, touched and shouted at but that’s all part of the experience.  You’ll find prices here cheaper then most everywhere in South East Asia, including Thailand.  Designer cologne, designer shirts and sneakers, Vietnamese crafts, textiles, souvenirs, even food stalls to get some authentic Vietnamese food for when you get hungry.   This place has it all and sure, all the name brand stuff may be knock-off but you can’t beat the prices!  Keep your wits about you, go with a buddy, and the dongs will be flying out of your wallet by the hundreds of thousands.  Don’t worry, when you out-buy your luggage you can just buy more luggage!  This place is such a big piece of the Vietnamese economy there literally used to be a picture of it on their money!  Did I mention the food stalls?  Don’t miss out.

#8 – Victoria Street Market (Durban, South Africa)

Spices for Sale at Durban's Victoria Street MarketIf you didn’t know better you’d think you were in India.  Or maybe not, maybe it’s definitely Africa.  It’s really hard to say as this 170 stall indoor market in downtown Durban walks the line between the two cultures so extremely well.  Spices are the name of the game here and everything is available to taste.  Poultry spice?  Don’t mind if I do?  Stick my finger in something green called “bbq fish”?  It’s delicious, I’ll take a bag full.  You’re sure to leave with pounds of spices you won’t know what to do with when you get home but it won’t matter because they just taste so damn good.  Then there are crafts.  Everything from masks to beaded animals to spears and shields to textiles.  This is THE place to get a good deal on souvenirs and gifts in South Africa and although the vendors are eager for a sale, they aren’t pushy or grabby in the least bit.  Even without bargaining prices will be 1/3 what they’ll be back at the airport.  But don’t let that stop you from bargaining them down even further!

#7 – Souq Waqif (Doha, Qatar)

Chandra in Souq WaqifA good market is a place you want to go, get exactly what you want at exactly the right price and get out.  A great market is one that you want to visit even when you don’t have any shopping to do.  What’s better then a place to just wander around and maybe smoke a little sheesha and watch the world go buy?  Souq Waqif is a 100+ year old souq that the Qataris renovated back to its original glory and is essential to any day in Doha.  Instead of dirty, filthy shops with shady people the streets are wide, comfortable and clean.  The shops meander in and out of the main walkway and off-shoots that wind in every direction.  From souvenirs to spices to pets, this souk has everything and its open air, clean style makes exploring it extremely comfortable. Another nice touch is the abundance of restaurants, cafes, juice joints and sheesha bars dotted throughout.  Purchase some spices and then join some of the many Arabs (not just tourists) at one of the outdoor tables.  A perfect metaphor for Doha itself, this Souk offers all the authenticity of  old world Arabia with all the comforts of the Western World.

#6 – Khan el-Khalili (Cairo, Egypt)

Posing at Khan el-Khalili Market in Cairo EgyptA trip to Khan el-Khalili is not for the faint of heart.  Be prepared to be talking non-stop and fending off the advances of vendors trying to get you to buy from them.  Everyone may sell the exact same things, but that just means that vendors need to differentiate themselves  in other ways – like talking to you.  Most can say key sales-related phrases in all major languages and will greet you depending on what you look like as you move through.  You’ll get outrageous statements like “I have everything you could ever want” or “Tell me what you want and I will get it for you” and no amount of hilarious push-back will ever actually upset anyone.  Here, bargaining isn’t suggested, it’s a necessity and with each negotiation you and the vendor are actually playing out a game together.  If you accept an opening price the vendor may be pleased to make more money, but he’ll be disappointed with you as a human being.  Do your country proud and bargain that lucky scarab statue down as far as you can.  That Egyptian vendor may not be able to afford meat for his family to eat, but you beat that price down to and well beyond insulting levels.  The result will be a firm handshake and a big smile.  Nobody respects a sucker.

 #5 – Grand Bazaar (Istanbul, Turkey)

Inside Istanbul's Grand BazaarIf you watched the opening scene of James Bond Skyfall and thought to yourself “what is this awesome place and can it possibly exist in today’s modern society?” the answer is Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and absolutely yes.  Kinda indoors and kinda out, this is the largest covered marketplace on earth and seems to sprawl on forever in all directions under colorful tent fabrics.  Be prepared to get lost because there are no landmarks and even every entrance looks the same.  At first the vendors may not seem so aggressive but after awhile once you’re more into the shopping experience you just may feel differently.  You can easily wander around this place for hours trying on jackets, picking up bags, looking at carpets and examining dishes and painted bowls.  This place has everything and each vendor is eager to sell out the next insisting his stuff is genuine while the other guy’s is shit.  “Like this leather?  Watch me hold a lighter to it and see how it won’t melt.  That means it’s legit, not like that fake leather the other guy has treated with a chemical that stops it from burning.  How do you know I don’t do the same thing?  What now?  Sorry, no English.”  When you get tired have a seat in one of the cafes and enjoy a tea and some Turkish appetizers.

#4 – Paddy’s Market (Sydney, Australia)

Paddy's Markets in Sydney AustraliaAustralia can be expensive, especially as a tourist.  But you’re a fool to buy anything pretty much anywhere but Paddy’s Market.  This downtown landmark is part Aussie-souvenir market, part Asian flea-market and market fruit and vegetable market.  Want a good deal on a boomrang?  A hooded sweatshirt that says “Australia”?  Little koala bears that pinch their arms open and closed to grab things?  A change purse made out of a kangaroo’s scrotum?  You can get it all here at prices shockingly lower then just outside the market’s doors.  Want something a little more practical?  Ride the escalator upstairs to “Market City” a more proper feeling mall that sits right atop the market.  The diversity of stuff you can buy at Paddy’s is great but don’t expect to have to bargain down the prices or insult the vendors by offering them next to nothing.  Prices definitely great, but they’re also fairly set.  No need to embarrass yourself here.  Be sure to get some Aussie licorice though – how is it so good?!

#3 – Patpong Night Market (Bangkok, Thailand)

Patpong Night Market in Bangkok ThailandFor the most part Bangkok is just one giant, chaotic disaster.  Taxis driving way too fast, tuk-tuk’s speeding in the wrong direction creating huge clouds of smoke, prostitutes approaching from all directions and guys that look way too old and way too white to be with such young Thai looking girls.  In the center of it all, is the nightlife district of Patpong and in the center of that, is the night-market.  Surrounded by sex clubs, restaurants, bars, clubs and other forms of entertainment, this mecca of debauchery is the perfect place to finally pick up that switchblade you’ve been wanting, a few “Lacoste” shirts and one of those cat statues that waves at you in perpetuity.  Be prepared not necessarily to bargain, but instead to name your own price.  This is bargaining to the max where vendors are so confident they can make a profit they ask you to open the negotiation first.  Be careful, if they accept your offer you know you probably got screwed.  Overstimulated from shopping?  Duck into one of the clubs and watch some Thai women shoot ping pong balls out of their vaginas while you enjoy a nice warm “Heineken”.  Yes, really.

#2 – The Old City (Jerusalem, Israel)

Old City Jerusalem Israel Arab MarketI’d be insulting pretty much everyone to label Jerusalem’s Old City as a marketplace and nothing more.  In truth, this is the birthplace of three major religions and the religious and cultural sites that can be experienced here are impressive enough to blow your mind.  But after all of that, there’s the shopping and it’s the sense of place and religious importance  of the city that makes it such a compelling place to purchase things.  Start with walking through one of the massive gates that separate the Old City from the rest of Jerusalem.  Then realize that while you’re crouching over to examine a nice hookah you spotted from across the street that this was the street Jesus walked down carrying a giant cross before he was crucified.  What’s that past  the falafel stand?  Of it’s the Kotel, the holiest place in Judaism and the last remaining piece of the Jewish temple that was destroyed by the Romans (as well as where something else meaningful happened).  This place is a crossroads of so many ancient civilizations and so many religious conflicts there couldn’t be a better place to pick up a new kippah.

#1 – Jemaa el-Fnaa (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Jemaa el-Fnaa Marrakech Morocco at Night from AboveIt’s hard to imagine a place that could top Jemaa el-Fnaa or the “main square” as most people would call it in Marrakesh.  Certainly MUCH more then just a market, this is the center of Marrakesh’s old city and where everything and anything of note takes place.  During the day the square and the surrounding labyrinth of narrow streets are home to endless stalls and shops selling everything from statues to jewelry to musical instruments to soccer jerseys.   In the square itself dont’ be surprised to see a man charming a snake that’s slowly rising out of a basket who rushes over to show you the snake up close when he spots you.  This place is basically as close to Disney’s Aladdin as you can get in real life.  Grab a fresh squeezed orange juice from one of the dozens of juice vendors (those Arabs love their fresh juices) and try not to get lost on the way back to your riad.  But the real magic happens at night when the center of the square becomes a massive outdoor food market where you can pick your food, watch it be cooked and then sit down to eat it at long communal tables.  For a really unique view check out the roof deck of Cafe Arab which overlooks the square.  The cacophony of sounds rising from the huge clouds of cooking smoke in the square is something you will never forget.

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A Catholic Wedding in India http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/catholic-wedding-india/ Thu, 16 Feb 2012 15:19:43 +0000 http://www.stylehiclub.com/?p=1962 Indian weddings are famous. Thousands of guests, days of parties, elaborate costumes…frankly, American weddings look a little lame in comparison. So obviously my husband booked a ticket to India when we were invited to his friend’s wedding in Goa. Turns out Goa is a Catholic, Portuguese section of India. Our friend Mariza’s wedding was held […]

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Indian weddings are famous. Thousands of guests, days of parties, elaborate costumes…frankly, American weddings look a little lame in comparison. So obviously my husband booked a ticket to India when we were invited to his friend’s wedding in Goa. Turns out Goa is a Catholic, Portuguese section of India.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Goa, India

The Holy Spirit Church in Goa, India

Our friend Mariza’s wedding was held in a church, complete with flower girls, readings from the Corinthians and a Here Comes the Bride processional. And despite me actually owning a sari, a quick Google image search of “wedding in Goa” tipped me off that I was better off in a cocktail dress 🙂 Score a point for comfort there.

But that touch of familiarity mixed with the exotic Indian location made for an interesting time. American weddings typically feature the bride in white, groom in a black tux and the bridal party in some featured color. Maybe there are two “wedding colors” but honestly that would be pushing it. Mariza had six bridesmaids, each in a different, vibrant color. The flower girls’ dresses (there were eight flower girls) were flowing gowns featuring a rainbow of colors woven together.

Flower Girl Goa India Catholic Wedding

Adorable Flower Girls with a Page Boy Escort

The bride, obviously the main event, wore a traditional white gown but stood out with her jewelry. Diamonds ran over her upper arms and along the top of her forehead. Her bouquet was made of peacock feathers. I can’t say I’ve ever seen peacock feathers in a church before!

Bride walks down the aisle catholic wedding goa india

The Processional

Then there was the guest list. The groom’s family is also from Goa and is quite connected to the community in that area. Mariza and Yannick were expecting 1,200 guests. TWELVE. HUNDRED. PEOPLE. Where the hell would you accommodate a wedding of that size in the US? Again, only in India…

All in all a fantastic wedding and we thank Mariza and Yannick for including us in their special day.  Congrats to the newlyweds!

Bride Groom Leave Church Wedding Goa India

The Recessional 🙂

 

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Sick in India (but not from India) http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/sick-in-india-but-not-from-india/ Tue, 18 Jan 2011 06:46:07 +0000 http://chandradigregorio.wordpress.com/?p=195 Sometimes things don’t go as planned when traveling.  Sickness can not be avoided, and often times the medication or vaccines that we take to help prevent sickness are the things that end up making us ill!  Malaria is no joke and malarone is a great medication for many people…but, it turns out, not for me. […]

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Sometimes things don’t go as planned when traveling.  Sickness can not be avoided, and often times the medication or vaccines that we take to help prevent sickness are the things that end up making us ill!  Malaria is no joke and malarone is a great medication for many people…but, it turns out, not for me.  Read on for details and fingers crossed you never get sick while traveling!

Malaria Billboard - Sri Lanka

5am is the worst time to wake up yet there we were, 5:20am hailing a taxi in Delhi. The hotel had packed us a nice breakfast but it was far too early to even consider eating and plus I didn’t feel well from this puff of diesel exhaust that I had accidentally inhaled from a passing cab. Checkin at Spice Jet, terminal 1D (there are only terminals 1D and 3) was very easy and I sat again feeling nauseous and a little light headed. I held it together enough to pass through security and on the other side I laid on a bench, unable to feel normal. It felt like any moment I was going to throw up. Breathing was also suddenly very difficult. It felt like I’d imagine asthma would feel. I was absolutely freezing and Dave kept offering me food and drink, which only made me feel sicker. We boarded the plane and for the next 2+ hours I was insanely uncomfortable and tried to sleep in the smallest seats I’d ever seen. We landed in Hyderabad on time and the man on the aisle deplaned. I immediately laid down and passed out, willing myself not to be sick and instead to make it to Cochin and feel better by the ocean breeze. Breathing was still hard and by this point I was pretty worried. As I passed out, Dave pleaded with all of the men boarding the plane that I must be allowed to lay down because I was very sick. I guess I played the part well because I occupied my seat and the only other vacant seat on the plane. I wasn’t made to buckle up or anything like that and I wavered in and out of consciousness until we reached Cochin.

I woke up in Cochin to an entirely different type of people that had bordered in Hyderabad. They stared at me as I awoke from my seat and walked into the 85 degree humidity outside wearing all the wrong clothes due to the 40 degree temps in Delhi earlier that day. I decided a drink may help so Dave got me a coke and we sat for a while before taking the taxi. He had told me it was only 10 minutes, but it turned out it was more like an hour. FML. Finally I felt well enough to leave the airport and I really though I was now going to be ok. The windows in the car were open and the scenery was all green and gorgeous. Yes, maybe it had all just been the Delhi pollution.

Well, five minutes after exiting the airport grounds we entered the city of Cochin. For an hour we sat in the back of the taxi, jerking back and forth, swerving around cars on insanely bumpy roads with smells of exhaust, burning trash (literally) and general filth everywhere. Back to feeling horrible. 45 minutes to go. That time was just horrible – I was sweating, couldn’t breath, and convinced that any minute I would have to throw up outside of the moving taxi. Luckily we made it to the port somehow and I couldn’t have been happier to finally lay down in the air conditioning and breathe for the first time since last night. Not so fast.

Boarding the ship should have been easy. We had Indian visas, stamps marking our entrance in Mumbai and keycards showing that we belonged on the ship. Unfortunately, the rest of the ship’s passengers had “exited” India in Mumbai and then reentered in Cochin. We had no such re-entry paperwork as we had never left India in the first place. The immigration officer guarding the ship could not understand how we differed from the rest of the passengers, despite us explaining it over and over (ourselves and through an interpreter) and showing our airline boarding passes from Mumbai to Delhi and then from Delhi to Cochin. He could not fathom how we were in India while the rest of the passengers had had to go through immigration. Finally we were allowed to enter the fenced area to sit because I was growing sicker and sicker. I sat in the shade under the watchful eye of the officer until someone from the ship could explain why India was being so obtuse.

Tim, our guest relations manager, finally came down from the ship and explained to us that other guests had had the same problem a few hours ago and for some reason that India wouldn’t explain, we had to enter the country again….even though we were already in the country and had been for 3 days. This made zero sense. Everyone except the stern looking Indian officials agreed that it made no sense, yet now our job would be to take a taxi to the immigration office and present ourselves and our passports to be stamped into the country. Despite us already having that stamp. Yup. Also, Dave could go in my place. Tim assured us that this would take 10 minutes tops, and that I had to do this to leave India tonight and board the ship now. I waited until I felt well enough for the 10 minute detour and a car met us beyond the fence that we had just crossed. Wouldn’t you know it, but obviously as we left the fence area again we were asked again for our papers to enter India and yelled at when we didn’t have them (because, again, we’d never left India!). THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE MAKING US GET.

This so-called 10 minute process took 90 minutes. 90 minutes of us in a dirty old office filling our papers, driving to a different office to make photo copies, driving to another cruise ship to get a customs officer to provide the proper stamp….and by that time I essentially couldn’t breathe and was passing out in the back of the car. But wait, we had just one more stop! We had to return to the first office and do some other thing, I have no idea what. I was gasping for air at this point and a decision was made that I just made to get to the ship. Dave told me later that our Indian helper was seriously freaked out by this point. I hustled past the evil Indian guard, providing no explanation other than looking like I was going to fall over at any minute, was led by Dave past the 2nd Indian official checking the gangway, and tried my best to make it up the stairs. I fell close to the top and Dave caught me just in time. This was not good. I laid down in the air-conditioning at the top of the stairs until I was ready to continue to our cabin. I finally made it downstairs and laid on the floor hoping to feel better. Not a chance of that though and I quickly had to run to the bathroom to be sick. Damn it, so close.

The next 7 hours were a blur of feeling better, then feeling much worse. I’d feel good enough to go upstairs to play Scrabble, then couldn’t breathe again and had to go lay down. I fell asleep a few times and around 9pm awoke feeling very very ill. We had now missed our entire opportunity to explore Cochin, and I felt really bad about that. By this time too, we both had figured this couldn’t just be exhaust poisoning and we set out googling. Was there anything different about the last few days? Well, yes, I was now taking malarone to avoid getting malaria in India. The side effects of malerone were nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing and lack of appetite. Well damn it. To top it off I’d just taken my 3rd malerone pill. Dave called the doctor and we headed down to see if anything could be done.

The doctor was very nice and was extremely thorough in all of the tests that she ran. She was very concerned with my breathing but found everything to look absolutely fine. She ran blood tests too and all looked normal. Most likely, as we suspected, it was the malarone. She sent me with some ghetto WHO gatorade imposter and told me to drink tons of water and stop taking the malerone. Dave and I went back to the room, had some mushroom risotto, and called it a night. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.

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Taj Mahal & Delhi, India http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/taj-mahal-delhi/ Mon, 17 Jan 2011 06:44:55 +0000 http://chandradigregorio.wordpress.com/?p=193 Today started with a grand attempt to see the sunrise over the Taj Mahal. Now, we are south of the Taj, so that’s not really possible, but the idea of seeing the Taj in orange sunrise seemed appealing enough to warrant a 7am alarm. That wasn’t really the case. It was absolutely freezing and the […]

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Yay Taj Mahal!

Today started with a grand attempt to see the sunrise over the Taj Mahal. Now, we are south of the Taj, so that’s not really possible, but the idea of seeing the Taj in orange sunrise seemed appealing enough to warrant a 7am alarm.

That wasn’t really the case. It was absolutely freezing and the haze prevented us from seeing anything near the horizon anyways. No worries. We got ready in time for the golf cart to take us over to the Taj at 9am. The Oberoi is the only hotel past the entrance gate, so we already had our tickets and red shoe coverings for inside the Taj itself. The golf cart took about 3 minutes and soon we were stepping into somewhat of a tourist mecca. There were people everywhere trying to sell us Taj postcards, figurines and books. A man from the Ministry of Tourism took us aside and walked with us while telling us about the grounds and the history etc. I’m not really sure where he came from, but he did help to lead us through security and into the complex. But this guy still didn’t leave us alone and started going on and on about the symmetry and yada yada. We just wanted to walk by ourselves so we asked him to take a few pictures of us and then we ditched him.  I’m sure that makes me a bad traveler, but tour guides are not for me at all.

The requisite Taj Mahal pose

Now, there are a lot of things that have a lot of hype and once you finally see them you’re like “ehhhh”. The Eiffel tower is one of these things, the Empire State building may be another. The Taj Mahal is not one of these things. It was more grand and larger than I had expected and it was much more beautiful. From far away it looks white, but close up you can see that there are small red flowers with green leaves in the tiles and there is Arabic writing everywhere. It looks pretty much the same from all 4 sides, which enables fantastic photos on the 3 sides that people seem to forget about. The front has narrow pools with small fountains leading the way across the large lawn and there are a few raised areas where people stand to take photos on a few of the stone benches. A good minority of the people are just trying to take tourists’ photos for some cash, or they’ll even take the photo with their own camera and develop the picture while you wait. This was the only annoyance in being here. Everything else was just breathtaking and I don’t think I can do any justice to the site with only words. Even the pictures don’t let on how incredible it is to see the Taj Mahal in person.

After taking lots of photos, including the requisite jumping shots, we headed to the inside of the Taj. It was time for the little red booties. We went up the stairs to the marble courtyard area, and then into the Taj itself. Honestly, there isn’t too much going on in there – its just a couple of caskets in the center room and circular rooms all around. The area was nice and all, but clearly the time and effort was spent on the outside of the structure. We exited the back and looked over the river, now mostly dried up, down below. I guess that’s why it was possible to build a huge marble structure 600 years ago. We walked around the back and both sides for a very long time, and even had opportunities to take photos in front of the Taj with no other human beings.

Preserving the Cleanest Part of India

 

We do not know this woman.

There were a few people that walked up to us at one point and said “photo?”. I thought the 2 possibilities would be a) they want us to take their photo or b) they want to charge us for them to take a photo of us. Neither was true – they wanted a photo with us. One by one each member of the family stood with us while the others stood back and clicked away. The Taj wasn’t even in the background of the shots! I was beyond confused, held my pocketbook tight and looked skeptical. After this happened a second, and then third time, we realized that we were pretty much the only white people there and certainly a few of only a handful of Americans. Apparently we were quite novel and people simply needed a photo with such a foreign couple. It was so strange to have people actually call out your minority status. After we had taken our fill of photos and general taking-in of this exceedingly impressive monument, we started the walk back to our golf cart, buying a coke and masala flavored Lays potato chips along the way.

Back at the hotel we had to pack and get ready for our departure. The trip was so quick, although I can’t stress enough how worthwhile it was to see the Taj. We chilled in the room, still staring at the Taj and eventually checked out close to noon. We grabbed lunch in the other restaurant – Dave having only a salad and me getting the chicken tikka masala. It was pretty overpriced for lunch, but it was good nonetheless. Finally at 1:30 we hopped back into our comfy SUV and headed to the airport. The ride was uneventful and soon we were back at the airport and Kingfisher employees were getting for their 1 flight that day. This involved calling us up one by one to check in. They also argued that our bag had to be checked, despite it being hand luggage in Delhi. They argued that Delhi airport was doing a very unsafe thing and that they would talk it over with the airport manager. Then for no reason, he did a 180 and said we could carry it on. I guess its not unsafe then? It all seemed completely unnecessary but the best truly was yet to come. After we were all checked in, “we” being everyone in the airport because there is only 1 flight, we stood in line for security. Every bag was tagged and passed through the X-ray. When we all went to collect our bags on the other side, we were yelled at not to touch anything. Being as this didn’t make any sense and suddenly a bunch of airport employees were grabbing our cameras, laptops and jewelry and taking off for the other side of the airport, there was some general confusion all around. No explanation was given, only “don’t touch your things!”. I didn’t want to leave my laptop so I insisted on walking next to the man who had grabbed my tray. He told me I was very beautiful as he walked me over to the womens only line for the pat down and hand held metal detector. It was all very weird. Inside the booth, the woman scanned every part of me and my boarding pass and passport. Literally every page of my passport. Of course the sensor in my passport cover kept causing the metal detector to go off and she could not understand why this was the case, despite me pointing to it and explaining (and she spoke English). Can you make a bomb out of a passport? I don’t think so… On the other side, our documents were checked two more times and all of our bags were also checked again to make sure they had the security stamp on them (how else would we have gotten them to this side of security??). The flight was very quick and in no time we were walking through Delhi’s airport and into a $9 taxi to the Claridges Hotel.

The Claridges is a very nice hotel in the embassy area of Delhi. This meant that it really felt more like Washington DC than like India and there wasn’t much going on except for embassies and government buildings. Dave and I both showered and soon Laasya was at the hotel and ready to show us around the city! We told her that we’d like Indian food so, being that she actually didn’t know Delhi too well, she texted friends for recommendations. We enter up at the nicest hotel in Delhi, the Aman Hotel. It was extraordinarily beautiful and Laasya and I shared a vegetarian appetizer and we each had our own entrees. I had the spinach and mint chicken, which wasn’t spicy but was very flavorful and unique. Laasya generously picked up the check for what must have been a very expensive meal and from there we drove past India Gate, a smaller version of the Gateway of India. We couldn’t enter because security was very tight while they are gearing up for their Independence Day next week. Many roads were closed but eventually we found a small area, Khan Market, that was accessible and had a few bars. Laasya chose Blanco and we headed in for happy “hour”, which was 4pm to midnight 2 for 1 drinks. India has a big drinking problem and apparently its happy hour all of the time and nearly anyone will drive drunk without a second thought. So that’s great. We enjoyed the bar, which had a posh feel with a disco on the top floor and the smell of apple sheesha everywhere. We chatted about life in India and all the things that are wrong with Delhi, along with the key differences between northern and southern India. Around midnight it was very evident that we were all exhausted and that it was certainly time to leave. We picked up the check and Laasya’s driver dropped us off at our hotel, which we hadn’t realized was just around the corner (Delhi is made up of just a series of rotaries which makes it very difficult to know which direction you’re heading). Dave and I set our alarms for 5am and passed out instantly. Cochin tomorrow!!

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Taj Mahal from Our Window http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/taj-mahal-from-our-window/ Sun, 16 Jan 2011 06:42:03 +0000 http://chandradigregorio.wordpress.com/?p=191 Well, this was an annoying day up until our arrival in Agra, so I wont dwell too much on all of the negatives that finally gave way to our romantic vacation within a vacation. Up at 6:15, tender boat around 7:25 (Indian standard time guaranteed its late departure, like everything in India), couldn’t find the […]

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Mumbai Taxi

Well, this was an annoying day up until our arrival in Agra, so I wont dwell too much on all of the negatives that finally gave way to our romantic vacation within a vacation. Up at 6:15, tender boat around 7:25 (Indian standard time guaranteed its late departure, like everything in India), couldn’t find the car, got ripped off getting a taxi to the airport, a rushed ride to the airport in 2 legs – 1 out of the shipyard and the next being shuffled to another van on the side of the road in Mumbai….incredibly annoying security at the airport whereby a TSA-type’s failure to stamp a bag almost resulted in us missing the flight (see, going through security isn’t enough – your bags also have to all be stamped and what do you know?? they forget all of the time!!). Very long flight to Delhi, a check of our boarding cards as we were getting OFF the flight (there is no trust between the Indian officials), met with a delayed departure to Agra on the other end. Flight supposed to be at 1:40pm, somehow posted on the board for 10:45am then posted as 5 hours delayed, which = 3:45pm….which was not even correct either as the flight was even more delayed due to weather (not a cloud in the sky….). 50 minute flight to Agra, landed in front of a tiny airport with 1 flight per day, and finally greeted by our driver from the Oberoi holding a “Mr & Mrs. Di Gregorio” sign and presenting us with waters and cool towels from a cooling compartment in the SUV. Now – that’s better.

Our driver told us lots about the city of Agra as we drove the 25 minutes from the airport to the hotel. Agra is a small Indian city, which means there are only 2.5 million people. The city is spread into 3 areas and we were currently in the army’s area, the area of the airport/airbase, meaning this area had more money and was therefore nicer than the rest of the city. It did seem nice in comparison to Mumbai – it was very clean, had a smaller feeling and didn’t seem too overwhelming. There were tuktuks everywhere and our driver showed us the line of about 50 tuktuks waiting to use one of the two CNG stations within Agra. Arriving closer to the Taj Mahal, there were more Western stores and restaurants – the requisite KFC of course – and small Taj Mahal themed hotels. We pulled closer and closer to our hotel and were permitted past a gate that no other vehicles except those to our hotel can cross. Beyond the gate, only electric powered vehicles are now allowed because some time ago they figured out that pollution makes the Taj yellow. People don’t want that.

Oberoi Dancers at the Taj Mahal

Entering the Oberoi was like entering our own personal palace. There was staff dressed in traditional Northern Indian-type uniforms ready to open doors, bow to us like in a yoga class (“namaste”) and carry anything that may be too heavy, which was basically anything. There were large lion statues wearing orange flower necklaces. We were greeted with a welcome drink, more moist towels and were shown to our room. We completed the checkin process in our room, and our staff guide was thrilled to open the balcony doors to a perfect view of the Taj Mahal and a traditional Indian music and dance show going on at that exact moment. It was just magical to all of a sudden see such an iconic landmark right in front of us while listening to a live sitar and drums. The air smelled fantastic as well, a first for India, and the sun was very close to setting off to the left of the Taj. Wow, just wow. I had high expectations for this side-trip and I’m happy to say that everything surpassed what I had envisioned.

No zoom lens needed.

We made a dinner reservation for 7:45 in the Indian restaurant within the hotel, Esphahan, which was quite small although very romantic and classy. There was beautiful music playing as we entered and we had a choice of 2 tables…off to the side or by the music. By the music? Oh, yes, of course…that music wasn’t a cd at all but rather a live hammered dulcimer player sitting on a small platform about 3 feet from our table. It wasn’t too loud or anything, just enough to be romantic and to feel like you were in some rich person’s home for dinner. The service was top notch, most evident by them bringing over a separate stool just for my pocketbook so that it wouldn’t touch the floor.  We dined on a tandoori kebab sampler, complementary spicy Indian soup, chicken biryani and a prawn dish in a curried coconut sauce. All with garlic naan of course. Dessert was 3 types of gelato and we topped off the meal with some Indian wine, which was very nice with the flavorful food. After dinner we walked around the grounds a bit despite the cold. It was all very romantic and a very magical 🙂

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Mumbai, India in a Day http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/mumbai-india-in-a-day/ http://www.stylehiclub.com/asia/india/mumbai-india-in-a-day/#comments Sat, 15 Jan 2011 06:40:27 +0000 http://chandradigregorio.wordpress.com/?p=189 Mumbai, India!! I have always wanted to go to India. Most of that has only to do with my name, and btw there are a lot of streets/shops named Chandra or some variation, but also because of the craziness of the culture and the delicious food. I think I’ve seen a fair amount of photos […]

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Mumbai, India!! I have always wanted to go to India. Most of that has only to do with my name, and btw there are a lot of streets/shops named Chandra or some variation, but also because of the craziness of the culture and the delicious food. I think I’ve seen a fair amount of photos of India but really nothing would compare to seeing it all live.

Surrounded by Jewelry on Colaba Causeway

Dave’s friend Mariza would be spending the morning and early afternoon with us, which turned out to be a great thing and much appreciated. We had a little trouble finding her at first because our ship was docked in a commercial ship yard, not a cruise terminal. We left the ship, got asked for our paperwork by separate Indian officials about 4 times within 100 feet, and then had to find our way across canals, over pipes and around shipping containers to the exit. At one point we had to wait for a Korean cargo vessel to pass through a canal so that the bridge could go back down. It was an adventure. All of the exits are color coded in this area, and the gate we were looking for was never the one that we could find. Finally we made our way to the street and it was easier to just tell her where we were rather than vice versa. She met us in a taxi, gave us lovely wedding towels with our names on them, and we proceeded to our first stop, the Gateway of India. Along the way, she and the taxi driver would point our various things, a museum here, a government building there. Everything was crowded, run down, loud and smelly. I don’t really mean all of that in a negative way though – I’d take something like this over quiet and restrained (Oman). The Gateway to India is a large arch that the British built and now is a symbol of Mumbai. Until a few days ago, I’d never heard of it so I’m not sure how famous it really is, but we had to see it anyways. It was very large and simply covered with tourists and people trying to sell absolutely anything and everything to those tourists.

We took some photos and then Mariza wanted to go to the Taj hotel for breakfast. The Taj is THE hotel in Mumbai, meaning it is where all of the important visitors would stay while in the city – presidents, etc. It was also the icon of the 2008 terrorist attacks on the city and where many were killed. There is a monument to them in the lobby – a waterfall with their names inscribed on the wall. All very eerie and the reason for India’s heightened, although mostly redundant and nonsensical, security today.

Taj Hotel, Mumbai, India

Mariza guided us to a very Indian breakfast at the Taj, which was great and I wish was the standard for our breakfast as well. We got a large dosa to share, which we dipped in a delicious warm curry sauce, and also these doughnut type things which had a bit of spice that were also dipped in the curry. Everything was nice and hot and delicious and had non of that egg nonsense going on. Mariza also called Kingfisher and managed to fix our flights for our trip to Agra tomorrow. A few days ago we had received an email that our flight times had changed and now our connecting flight, Delhi to Agra, would be leaving before our initial flight from Mumbai to Delhi. The email indicated no problem with this and said we were confirmed for both flights. I think this was our first introduction to how much of Indian logistics are run. There’s a lot of procedure and no real thinking.

All modesty out the window at an Indian sari shop

After breakfast, we walked over to Colaba Causeway, which is a market “souk”. I thought it was going to be an area just set aside for stalls and for shopping, but actually it is a sidewalk with stalls and thousands of people pushing through. It makes it hard to stop and “window shop” because the second you stop, you’re getting pushed from behind. There are also stores that you can step into that sell more of the better (?) items. I really wanted to buy a sari so we stepped into one place and started trying them on. It was definitely an experience with Mariza negotiating for me and the 2 salesmen tossing out 10-20 purple/pink saris at me and offering all sorts of colors and fabrics and patterns. I tried a few on, and finally decided on one. They would make me the little shirt, custom to my size, so they took about 15 measurements for that. I paid Rs 4000 for everything, which is about $85. I think its a pretty good deal as I’m planning on wearing it to a few special indian occasions in the future. From there we continued down the Causeway and bought matching bracelets, this bindi-type thing, and Dave got a spyglass for some reason. We also saw the EXACT same chests that we were eyeing in Oman. These were in much better condition and were a bit cheaper as well. We promised the shop keeper that we’d be back later to pay and pick it up.

Indian Tapas = Thalis!

After shopping Mariza brought us to this local restaurant that had fantastic food, Soul Fry Casa – not Mexican. We sat on the 2nd floor and ordered some appetizers and 2 thalis, which are similar to tapas. One thali was mild, for Mariza, and 1 was spicy for Dave and me. Everything was amazing – we had chicken with spicy red sauce, clams in a coconut brown sauce, prawns, garlic naan and some sort of local fish. Indian food is very similar to Indian food in the US, which was a huge relief. The food even comes in the exact same copper pots as in American restaurants. Even though we had the spicy thali, it really wasn’t very hot at all, although the spices were very flavorful. For dessert we tried some frozen milk dish that was green and very tasty. Mariza picked up the check, which was very nice. From there we all got in a cab and tried to thing of what Dave and I would do until my sari was ready at 5pm. We decided on foot massages so she made appointments for Dave and me and then quickly got out of the cab to head off in the other direction. She had also given us ideas for drinks and dinner, too. Just great!

Foot massages were very nice and very cheap and killed the time nicely. We jumped in a taxi to return to Colaba Causeway. Taxis are insanely cheap here. The taxi to our foot massages was Rs 30 (< $1). Actually the driver didn’t even have change for our Rs 500 note. Imagine a taxi driver not even having change for a $10 bill because nothing costs nearly that much. Insane. The sari fit perfectly btw and we did return to buy that treasure chest. Now we just need to find a place to put it in our new place!!

The taxi and walk back to the ship was once again very interesting, this time with saris and treasure chest in tow, and we were very eager to get back and shower. Damn, Mumbai is hot! We put on nice clothes and headed out once again, this time taking a taxi from an area near our ship directly to the Dome on the top floor of the Intercontinental Hotel. Once again, tight security to get into the hotel including pat downs and metal detectors. Everything was beautiful, although we couldn’t really see much of the city because they put up non-translucent walls (dumb). We sat on a white linen couch and enjoyed a few beers while enjoying the breeze and the relative quietness. It was here that I think we decided that we could totally live in India and be just fine. Don’t worry though, we aren’t going to 🙂

I could eat my weight in naan. Try me.

From upscale drinks, we once again hopped in a cab and backtracked a bit to Khyber, an Indian restaurant that Mariza had recommended. Khyber was beautiful and huge inside with very modern decorations and amazing smells as we were led to our table. We enjoyed a potato and pea samosa appetizer (there were about 12 mini samosas) and chicken tikka masala and goan shrimp for an entree with garlic naan on the side. Everything was absolutely fantastic, although again nothing was incredibly spicy. We were both very full from the food and had absolutely no room for dessert, so we decided to head back to the ship. We found a taxi that was probably ripping us off, meaning it was about $8, but we finally managed to find the infamous Green Gate. Our ship was about a 5-10 minute walk from this gate and the walk did not include bypassing any cargo ships or other obstacles. I’m not really sure why no one had managed to point us in the right direction until now, when we only found it by a lack of communication between us and our taxi driver. We made it back to the ship after the usual myriad of paper checks, packed and headed to bed. Taj Mahal tomorrow – I can’t think of a better site to see on a honeymoon!!

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