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She touched my b@@bies!!

By on September 14, 2013 in India with No Comments
Kanpur to Agra
We left the ripoff yes-no-wifi Citi Club Hotel and continued on countless miles of paved highway, which is getting a bit tedious, but the alternative is worse.
We stopped for breakfast at a tea shop to be stared at again, with me trying to unsuccessfullu sneak a use of my left hand when no one is looking (how does one tear naan with just one hand?).
Stopping for gas we realized that the petrol tank had all but fallen off. The spot welding on one bracket had sheared away and the tank was hanging by a thread to the remaining bracket, which was about to snap. Rick had some parachute cord, so with some effort he tied it all together and fastened it to the back seat.  Seems to be working so far – how do we tell it’s not? Do we explode in flames?
We’ve not been having much luck finding hotels, with the app leading us to the middle of nowhere yesterday.  This time we were super organized. We phoned, made a reservation, all that good stuff. The app led us right to the hotel (even the traffic was okay…suspicious).  Might I say, Gateway Hotel in Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) might be the best hotel in the world.  We walked through the door and instead of jumping three feet back and calling security, a wonderful lady was standing there and put a dot on my forehead. I scanned quickly to make sure I hadn’t walked into a shooting range but no, she was leading us to cushy couches and said she would take care of everything.  I could have spent the night on that couch it was so comfy.  Turns out we might have had to.  In our brilliance we had somehow made our reservation at a completely different hotel so needless to say we did not appear in the Gateway’s booking system and they were fully booked.  Oh god, drive across town after we’d finally made it here, please no.  But no, they were figuring something out and told us to relax. They even bought us the most delicious lime juice in the world in little red glasses while we waited.  In a fairly short time (impressive) the lovely lady came back and had found us a room. It was a nice room, more expensive than the one we’d planned, but less expensive than I thought it would be, given the super high end decor of the hotel.
In part of the Adventurists’ disclosure it mentions “this is not a spa vacation”. Screw that, I’ll make it a spa vacation if I want to. We booked ourselves massages which were right up there with the best I’d ever had. I’d been feeling like the harlot of Babylon wearing tank tops all the time instead of head to toe covering like most women in this region seem to dress, but apparently in India the good stuff goes on behind closed doors.  She started massaging my err, frontal region. Oh well, felt good so I went with the flow.
No bugs or ants in the bedroom (yet), and hot water and wifi. They even had yoga which we’d been sorely missing.  It was just us and a yogi in his eighties looking fit as a fiddle. The first thing he told us was that it wasn’t ‘yoga’ – that was in fact a slang word and the correct pronunciation was ‘yog’. We learned that we must empty our bladders after each meal, even just a few drops, followed by sitting on our heels with straight backs.  We learnt that yog can fix a slipped disc fully guaranteed. In fact, we learned so much stuff that we didn’t really do much yoga, except for a good cobra position.  It was beautiful outside, by the pool, early morning with no one else around, until…the ants spied us. They came creeping all over our mats and skin and as I’d heard that it was a sin to kill a living thing in yoga practice, and because the holy yogi was right there in front of us, instead of squashing them I brushed them away, to which they just laughed and bought more of their buddies back with them.
Returning to the room, we had a little surprise in store for us. Hundreds of little surprises in fact. While we were doing the yoga, outside in the beautiful garden, all the ants that weren’t crawling all over us when we were doing poses had decided that the cough lollies in my purse would make a tasty snack. In fact they’d decided there was so much good food there, that they were going to move in forever, with their cousins and aunties and uncles too. In the hotel with no one looking I felt no compunction to not harm a living thing, and killed every one without a trace of guilt.
Walking out after the massage we were accosted by a man about to give a puppet show “ten minutes”. We certainly didn’t care much about a puppet show so we said we’d be back not intending to be back. We went for a walk around the grounds and as luck would have it we returned exactly as the puppet show was ready to commence.  No one else was there so we felt bad as he’d set up two seats for us, so we settled down for some puppeteering. It was actually pretty cool, there was a belly dancing puppet and a snake charmer puppet (with snake puppet) and others. The puppets made really creepy squeaking sounds.  Anyone a puppet expert? Is that normal or were they suffering from some sort of intestinal problem?
Our stay there was so wonderful and they were so welcoming.  If anyone is in Agra I would certainly recommend Gateway Hotel. An oasis away from it all. A man had even cleaned our rickshaw when we went down in the morning (little did he know how fruitless that was).
But now, back to the road, and the dirt, and the bugs, and the pain, and squat toilets with no toilet paper. Bye bye lovely hotel. I will miss you forever.

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