Assorted India Photos

Average Traffic

Street Traffic

Making even San Francisco's Highway 101 look like smooth sailing, traffic in India is a nightmare. Throw a few sacred cows into the intersection, and gridlock takes over.

"Slower Traffic and Cows Please Keep Left"

Cow In Traffic

Public Pee

Peeing In Public

Indians seem to have taken the phrase "Public Restroom" to the literal extreme. Along the side of many a city street there are these "open air toilets." You just walk on up, drop trow, and go. Cars and pedestrians keep passing by...

A Stitch In Time Saves ???

Tailor Sewing Up Parcel

So you want to mail a package home?

  1. Find a box for your item (not as easy as it sounds) and box it up.
  2. Take your box to a tailor. Yeah, you heard that right, a tailor. Haggle for a fair price (and don't get it) to sew your package in clean linen.
  3. The tailor sews the package up, as is seen in this photo. Then he melts numerous globs of plastic over the seams and stamps them while still hot with his seal. Next you write your address information on the linen.
  4. Take your package to the post office. Before you make it to the counter, random guy (we'll call him Mr. Vindaloo) acosts you and helps you with your paperwork, hoping to get a kickback for his services (note that he is not associated with the post office).
  5. Your package and paperwork are given to Mr. Postal Worker, who weighs it and informs you it will cost 840 Rupies to send it by sea. FYI, 840 Rupies is exhorbitant for a small package.
  6. But all is not lost! Mr. Vindaloo pulls you aside, and tells you since your package is less than 2 kg, you can send it as a letter for 147 Rupies. However, since it's illegal to do that, you'll have to slip Mr. Postal Worker 300 Rupies (a salary equivalent of about $400 to a US Postal Worker).
  7. Realising that if you don't, your package may never get there, you agree, Mr. Vindaloo tells Mr. Postal Worker how much he'll be paid, you slip the money to him, tip Mr. Vindaloo 10 Rupies, and pray that your package will make it in three months.
  8. You leave, and Mr. Vindaloo (and, by association, Mr. Postal Worker) wait for the next tourist...

Toy Train Ride

Train Crossing Bridge

The Toy Train to the hill station of Shimla in the foothills of the Himalayas is a great way to see the countryside. It's a narrow gauge railroad build by the British back in 1903. That's back when the British actually controlled land larger than a rainy, dreary island in the Atlantic. Flame on, British friends.

Here the train is passing over one of the 845 bridges in its 5 hour journey.

Road Crew

Clearing The Road

Landslides are certainly common up in the Himalayan areas, and if you want your bus to continue the trip, you'd better get out and start clearing!

LadaKKKh Festival

Leh, Ladakh

White Hooded Dancers

While in Leh, I got to watch some of the two week "Ladakh Festival," which is full of competitions, music, and dancing. Fun to watch, but I'm not sure these white-hooded, sometimes white-robed dancers would go over very well in the US though.

Water Taxi On Dal Lake

Srinigar, Kashmir

Water Taxi On Dal Lake

The "thing to do" in Srinigar was (and in my opinion still is) to stay on one of the old British houseboats on Dal Lake. These luxurious craft were made by the British who were not allowed to own land, so they built boat-mansions instead!

Here a water taxi paddles a group out to their boat. Yes, it would have been very romantic, if I wasn't single.

"How To Identify A Bomb," Courtesy Of Dairy Fresh Ice Cream

Srinigar, Kashmir

Bomb Sign

Gotta love these signs. Other favorites include "Check for bombs under your seat when you board the train" and "Cloak room open 24 hours a day, except 11:30-12:30, 14:30-15:00, 17:30-18:30, and 21:00-6:00."

Golden Temple

Amritsar, Punjab Province

Golden Temple

Covered by 220 lbs (100 kg) of gold, this temple is the most sacred for the Sikh faith. It really is pretty awesome, and is worth visiting, as Amritsar is far more pleasant than the rest of Northern India. This is probably due to the legendary hospitality and kindness of the Sikh people.


Page Revised 9/29/00