Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Macho Macho Men

I'm not sure that ten days in India makes me an expert in the behaviours and actions of Indian men, but I am going to go out on a limb and make a sweeping blanket statment.

If you want to know the meaning of the word machismo, come to India. Here, many men (particularly the young ones) strut around like flocks of roosters, complete with tight-fitting pants with flared legs, wide open collars, two-inch thick belts, and in a lot of cases, fantastically coiffed moustaches. This is sometimes accompanied by bold stares and (I'm guessing) lewd comments.

Anyway, when we're not being harrassed by touts, the people that have approached us have been generally very curious about us as people, as well as helpful and friendly and quick to smile or laugh.

Today we took a rickshaw tour of different parts of Jaipur. Rather than being a scenic tour, it ended up being more of a shopping tour, as we were taken to "factories" where we were supposedly shown demonstrations of textile printing, carpet knotting, leather work, and gemstone cutting and polishing, but then were drawn into friendly-seeming sales pitches. We also had camel and elephant rides offered to us, but paying the equivalent of $10 to ride a sad-looking elephant up and down the side of the highway for five minutes didn't quite seem worth the money. It was still a pleasant way to spend the day; we had no illusions about what we were in for at the "factories", so we weren't surprised or disappointed. We even bought a couple of trinkets and had some fun bargaining. Then we had a delicious Indian lunch at the Ganesh Restaurant -- our second meal in a row there, it was that good. The garlic naan is delicious!

We finally did another picture-saving blitz, so here are a few more:

Taj Mahal:

See the Monkeys?:

India Gate at Night:

Proof I'm still Alive:

See all of India so far by clicking here.

Also, see additions to the Tibet album by clicking here.

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