Monday, June 18, 2007


This morning when I came into the office I was telling my mentor about our trip to Mysore this weekend. I told him that it was pretty sunny, and then I showed him a bright red triangle on my upper chest that my Polo neglected to cover. He looked at me quizzically before asking, "is that a rash?" As you might guess, the concept of sunburn was a little bit foreign to him...

The point is, yesterday we went to Mysore, and it was pretty neat, but one day was perfectly fine to see most of what it had to offer. We took a train because it's about 85 miles away. It was a three hour train ride each way so we left at 6:30 in the morning (!!!) and got back at 9 at night. First off, this was my first Indian train experience, so that by itself was pretty neat. When the train pulled up, hundreds of passengers began to push and fight to get on. There was a huge line at the entrance to each carriage, so I was a little bit worried about the whole thing. Fortunately, we reserved the seats in highest class car (about $9 each way). Our car, therefore,  was nicely air-conditioned, and had no line whatsoever. If  you want to draw the conclusion that I am a high roller, you probably aren't that far off.

Mysore has a few sights to see. It was the former center of the Maharajah empire, and therefore has a large palace. This was by far the coolest sight. There is also a famous/sacred hill, Chamundi hill, which has temples and a nice view of the city. We hiked down the hill, but got to top via the world's slowest auto-rickshaw. We did the whole 13km trip going at like 15 miles an hour (sorry you'll have to convert yourself...), and the whole time it sounded like the piston was about to explode through the top of the engine. We didn't mind getting ripped off on the price (Rs. 150) because that guy had some big auto repairs in his future. As you may have guessed, the hike down is where I got this gnar gnar sunburn. For some reason if I leave the house and it's not sunny outside, I can never remember to bring sunscreen... It was pretty much a disaster.

Finally, for the first time in India, we were in a place where we really had a lot of people (beggars, salesmen, conmen, children, etc) coming up to us and talking to us. I've had a lot of experience with this before in other less-developed countries, but hadn't seen too much until yesterday. Apparently, I have a lot more in my future from what others tell me!

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