Friday, March 27, 2009

India Blog - Day 11 (last day)

We didn't really have much we wanted to see this day and were planning to spend most of it shopping for stuff to take home to our families. We ate breakfast and Randy and I checked out of our room. Gail and Kurt kept their room for late checkout, so Randy and I moved 0ur stuff into their room.

The driver took us first to the India Gate, which is like the tomb of the unknown soldier. There is an "eternal" flame there and flags for the different branches of the Indian armed services, and the monument is dedicated to the Indian soldiers who fell during WWI.

After that we tried to get the driver to take us to some open-air shopping to get some deals, but he didn't understand and took us to another high-priced kickback store. We came out immediately and finally got him to understand where we wanted to go and he took us to a place with lots of shops with decent prices and open-air market. I bought a bunch of glass bracelets, some t-shirts, a drum, and a chess set. I was starting to get the hang of the whole haggling thing, but it really starts to give you a headache after a while and is a lot of work. I was at the point where it was almost worth it just to pay more to avoid the work of haggling. But I did get some good deals.

After shopping there, we asked the driver to take us to Humayun's tomb. He took us to some shopping center instead where we paid 15 rupees (30 cents) to get in to the street. I guess they just do that to keep the riff-raff out? All the shops there were pretty much the same, but I did get a cute shirt for Rosalie.

After shopping, we finally got the driver to take us to Humayun's tomb. We went to one tomb first that we thought was it, before we got to the real one.

There are ancient tombs and ruins everywhere in India. At this point I think we were getting a little burned out and were ready to be done with ancient buildings. Especially since it was pretty hot.

The driver took us to one final place for shopping which was a mall. This mall was totally westernized with stores like in a western mall selling jewelry, high-fashion clothes, etc. The prices were western too, with everything as much or more than in the states. We didn't stick around very long. They did have a McDonalds there as well.

If you look close at the menu, you can see they have no beef or beef products.

We had the driver take us back to the hotel, and Randy and I went shopping in the streets around the hotel. There wasn't really anything we wanted to buy there. I wanted to get some candy for the kids, but couldn't find anything that wasn't either really expensive or looked like it might make them sick. We ate fries and a shake (too timid to try the veg burgers) at McDonalds. The guy looked at Randy funny when he asked for a spoon. We soon realized why, as the shake was like slightly lumpy chocolate milk. No spoon necessary. The fries were pretty much the same as in the states.

We went to the shops downstairs and spent all the rest of our rupees, except for the tips for the driver and sundry porters etc. Then Randy and I showered and called home one last time and then stuffed everything in the suitcases. Luckily I had a fair amount of space on the trip there so everything fit in the one suitecase.

The driver drove us to the airport and after only getting turned around once, we made it there. After we tipped him and went into the airport, Randy realized he had handed the driver his wad of US cash ($90 worth) instead of the 400 rupees ($8 worth) he had meant to hand him. Luckily he was able to get the driver on the cell phone and get him to come back and make a switch. Kurt and I both thought the driver would be long gone with the cash, but I guess he was worried about the feedback through our company.

Anyway, there isn't much more to tell about the India trip. The trip home started at 1:00 AM in India on Tuesday and arrived in SLC at 7:30 that same day, including a 3 hour layover in Paris and a 4 hour layover in NYC. It was a seriously long day. I slept off and on through the flight to Paris and to NYC. I had a hamburger in NYC and went with Edith to Costa Vida in SLC. One of those two places caused me to wake up that night and puke my guts out. Ironic, isn't it, that after 12 days of being careful and avoiding sickness in India, I get tagged by food poisoning the minute I get back in the States?

I gave Edith a bunch of stuff I bought for her in India the night I got home, and presented the kids with all their loot the next morning. They were quite excited.

I don't think Edith's presents come anywhere close to making up for ditching her with 5 kids for 12 days, but I guess it's a start.


Mom & Dad said...

Good shopping, Casey.

Katie said...

that really IS ironic!! (the sick from US food thing) Well, good to see you made it home safe and sound. I hope your birthday was great. I sent you a text but you probably didn't get it on your b-day. Nice dresses for the girls. I bet they love them! See you TUESDAY!!!