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I stared intently into the eye of the cow, hoping the sheer intensity of my gaze would convince her to back down and consent to let us make our way past in the narrow, pungent alley. Her normal cow-like bulkiness was further exacerbated by her bulbous, distended right side which was ballooning out in a way that seemed decidedly unhealthy, yet fairly unsurprising considering her daily diet likely consisted of rotting fruit, discarded plastic wrappers and sewage water. Despite her physical oddities and dirty off-white colouring, however, she maintained a festive air about her, thanks to the colourful beaded necklace draped around her neck and the pink Holi festival powder sprinkled liberally as though in preparation for a high school dance. Nonetheless, despite our obvious admiration and my rather hypnotic glare, she wasn’t having any of it, grinding us into the wall as she lumbered by as though we were…

Coming soon to Varanasi, home of the Ganges, the traditional ghat and the theory that there’s no festival like a nightly festival. The following trailers are brought to you by Kingfisher beer, negotiable prices and the letter Ƣ. Legend: Bold – Movie title Regular – narrator < > Description of events [ ] Music ” ” Character quote <Tiny speck of light on black screen gets slowly bigger until buildings, people and rivers can be seen> Get ready to experience one of the holiest and most traditionally important cities in the Hindu world…in the stunning realism of High Definition 3D! <Moving overhead shot of the Ganges winding along the edge of the city, passing ghat after ghat and focusing on local life – praying, bathing, washing clothes, making puja offerings> Feel the city in a way that has never been possible before! <Sharply zooming in on a man facing the…

With Bundi finally in the books it was time to join the social world for a time again with some travel within India’s famous “Golden Triangle”. We hopped a night train to Delhi (fairly comfortable, spurned the opportunity to get drunk on some clear mystery hooch with the guy in the bunk below me traveling with his mom) arrived at the oh so convenient witching hour (around an hour before sunrise) and cleverly opted to cut a bit of distance off our taxi ride by getting off before the main station. Ah, Ohka Station, we’ll remember you fondly as a dark, featureless shanty surrounded by chain link fence and abject poverty. Luckily for us there was some type of messy middle of the night vegetable market taking place a block or so away otherwise the only light would have been from the moon reflecting off homeless guys’ urine. We ended…

After five nights in Udaipur we finally took our leave, heading east to the small, old city of Bundi. On the way we stopped off in a city called Chittor for a couple hours, which is famous for having one of the best forts in Rajasthan. It is a popular stop for tourists who are lucky enough to find themselves in completely the middle of nowhere in Southern Rajasthan. There once was an old fort in ChittorTime and weather had faded its glitterGreat views wherever we turnedBut in the end what we learnedTwo pigeons, one hole, gets quite bitter I always find it intriguing how music can imprint itself in your mind as part of a larger memory, either triggering an image when you hear it or coming to mind when you see a similar scene, like the way people my age hear Dire Straits and immediately think of parachute…

After the hot, humid, languor of the south our plane ride north was predictably shocking to our system – cold, dry and so anally obsessed with safety. But stepping off the plane in Udaipur was just about as bad, the parched desert air sifting down to befoul our moist spoiled lungs like a dirt road on a freshly washed half-ton. So, to summarize, it’s a bit dry. And a lot cooler. Might wish I brought more than one pair of pants. And a sham-wow, obviously. Udaipur is a yet another famous Rajasthani city, one of many that apparently have, at one time or another, served as a ruling empire’s capital city, military stronghold, economic centre and most popular destination for gawky rural farm boys in search of wealth, wine and woven fabrics (that’s what guys want, right? To be rich, drunk and accessorized in nifty scarf? Like in France? Or…

Having completed our third and final stop in Southern India, the sleepy historic neighbourhood of Fort Cochin in its beautiful location on the Arabian Sea, we feel we can now conclusively state that the people in Southern India, or least in the state of Kerala, are among the nicest and easiest to get along with of any we’ve come across to this point. Which is certainly not what we expected. Even though we had heard the south was much more laid back than the busy tourist cities of the north we figured that description was highly dependent on a scale of relativity and that the best opinion we could realistically hope to form was something along the lines of “not so bad”, “ok as long as you don’t make eye contact” or “If it were up to me, sure, I’d let some of them live”. Not the case, not at…

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