The never-ending heat. .

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, June 1, 2006

Jhansi is an unremarkable place, to some degree, though there is much to see in most of these smaller cities unfrequented by the typical western traveler. There are forts on the hillsides, temples everywhere you look, and interesting countryside on all the roads, and riding Rocinante is the only way to get the full effect. If one did stop at all the interesting sites, it would take years to see them.
So one must choose.
My room in Jhansi was hot, and I could not figure out why it kept feeling as though I was in an oven and getting hotter, until I realized, in the middle of the night, that the exhaust from the AC room across the way was coming in through a shall atrium between the rooms, into which my windows were open. I did not get much sleep that night, though a little forethought would have saved me from suffering, I did not notice until it was a bit too late.
Of course a little forethought on the part of the person who had the bright idea of setting up the rooms in such a way would have saved me some suffering, but forethought, it seems, is not really the Indian way... They just run something until it breaks, patch it up, and then go on until it breaks again. This is true of just about everything here, there is no maintenance whatsoever for the most part.
I will not tell you much about the rickshaw driver being threatened with a "bamboo massage" for being too pushy, or about the huge colony of large biting ants that were displaced onto the bathroom floor when I used the sink and washed them out, those details are for another time, perhaps over a glass of wine, from the safety of my own dining room. .
That was really all I saw of Jhansi. In the morning, I set off for my next destination, Agra. Home of the Taj Mahal, one man's testament to the love he felt for a woman. .

I'm there in Agra right this minute, Found a cheap room. . The hotel Ratin Palace should be called the hotel "Rotten" palace, to tell the truth, the place smells. The room is basic and dirty, as most Indian rooms on the cheap are, but there is a sort of ventilation shaft up the middle of the rooms with a screen in. I had to cover it up, as there was a strong ammonia smell from the screen. Another bright idea. The open-pit sewage system does not work so well when you are building a Lodge on top of it.
Last night I spent the sweatiest night yet, it was as if I was sleeping in a salty swimming pool filled with perspiration. On such nights I have learned to put on a bandanna as a sweatband, and to sleep with a towel on my pillow, which becomes soaked anyway. One must keep hydrated here, the water pours out as soon as it pours in. At least there are no bugs in my room, not that I really mind that, I'm pretty used to the little insectoid buddies, and they don't bite me, so. . .
I think tonight I will pay a little extra and get that AC room. . I need a good sleep.

Wouldn't you know it, I am here on Friday, and the frigging Taj Mahal is closed. I'll try to get some pictures anyway, now that I have proper batteries, but I won't go inside, as it is closed. . I didn't want to spend the 800 rupees admission anyway, cash is at a premium, and 800 rupees is four days lodging for me now. . .
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