Saturday, April 12, 2008

taj mahal

i had to switch hotel rooms. i got one in agra without a/c and it was too hot. so my new room is really nice, but cost more. but what is money? (if it was about money, i never woulda come on this trip.) when i was moving to my new room, the hotel porter asked me, "do you like..." - followed by some indecipherable hindi word. i could only answer, "uhhh..." so he follows it up with, "you know, very beautiful!" and then started making the shape of this unintelligible word with his hands. i immediately had a flashback to cambodia, when jacob and i were offered prostitutes as part of room service. i would've just said no, but i was still uncertain what he was asking - so i pressed further to find out, and he again made that same shape with his hands, although a bit more bulbous than the usual hand motions used to signify women in western culture. "very beautiful!"

and i am not sure how the brain works, or exactly what chemical fires across which particular synapse to allow for the comprehension of someone from another culture's communications - but something somewhere fired in my brain, and i finally understood that he wasn't trying to sell me a prostitute, but that he was asking if i liked the taj mahal. (and i swear, the way he said it sounds nothing like the way westerners say it. it's like that butter/parkay commercial: it's just not the same word.) well, hotel porter guy, the taj mahal is very beautiful - take a look at some of the pictures and see for yourself. i must say, i was a bit skeptical - i have been to wat angkor - but it is truly as amazing and overwhelming as they say it is...









12 comments:

jacob said...

The crazy thing about that experience in Cambodia was, it wasn't just the hotel guy, it seemed like everyone was asking us. It was really uncomfortable. Love the pitures - any word from Jenny yet?

Danielle & Jason said...

I read a fictional book about the supposed "architect" of the taj mahal and have been fascinated by it since. So cool that you got to take a look for yourself. I hope the real story of its design and construction has some romance to it because as the intellectual architects might describe it - it's a very "sensual" building. (Danielle)

jrm said...

yes jacob - its disturbing when people are so poor they have nothing else to sell.

do you know the name of that book? the whole story is fascinating, just how shah jahan was imprisoned by his son supposedly for bankrupting the country in its construction (and then he spent the remaining years of his life gazing at the taj mahal from his palace prison - see the picture on my blog to get an ideal of what his view was like.)

and now the taj mahal brings so much money into india each year!

plainoldsarah said...

totally beautiful! glad you made it and documented it for our benefit.

Kelsey said...

You still sure he wasn't talking about a girl with a big rack? LOL!

jrm said...

thanks sarah, and be sure to look at jenni's pictures - she has photos of tourists, an integral part of the taj mahal atmosphere.

and kelsey, i am surprised by your crass view of the world! ha ha ha! pretty funny.

ewesa said...

motherhood has really changed her. :)
these are great photos! wish you had one of the large indian man though, that part needed to be documented. next time.

Danielle & Jason said...

The book is called "Beneath a Marble Sky".

NOTSONUTSO said...

Joseph, I am having a great time picking pictures to share with my e-mail buds. All of them are so awesome it's hard to choose!!

aliciadiane said...

Amazing photos Joseph! You should come over and show and tell your india trip

ajaybir said...

hi joseph hows ur trip going on oh.. one thinki forget to introduce myself i m ajaybir singh ahluwalia u nd jenni met me in amritsar then we had also gone for india pakistan border its really a nice visit with u

jrm said...

hey anjay! the trip is going well! we made it to mcleod ganj. i also enjoyed meeting you and your friends!