India. As the cliche goes, westerners come to India to 'find themselves'. Although, after being here for nearly two weeks myself, I honestly have no idea why people expect India to be the place in which this will happen. There is so much other (four letter word) to deal with that I can't fathom how anybody would find the time to even search for themselves here. What it does teach you however, or at least what it has taught me so far, is that home is a beautiful, beautiful place. In fact, more than any other place I have visited in the course of these travels, India has made me appreciate the land of Oz the most. Imagine, a place where locals and foreigners are charged the same price....where people genuinely want to talk to visitors, not just score the contents of their wallets....where locals will help you and not hold out their hands for compensation....ahh just imagine! Is it not beautiful? It is. And thankyou to the great subcontinent for helping me realise this.
This description may seem cynical...I don't mean it to be. It is genuinely how I feel about this place, or what I have seen of it so far at least. But, of course, so far I have been in major tourist areas visiting major monuments and landmarks, so this is only one representation of a very varied land.
After spending about twelve days traversing Rajasthan (yes, we saw the Taj Mahal and yes, it is actually something you have to see in real life to truly understand it's beauty), we are currently on a night stopover in Mumbai, the most westernised city in India, before we have two overnight train rides down to the southern state of Kerala, where will be met by my lovely mummy who will then take us to the school she is volunteering her time to. After I have seen this side of the country I am sure I will have a lot of different things to say about it. We'll see.
(P.s Sorry, no photos this time, India doesn't seem to have caught on to the wifi craze yet (at least in the budget hotels) so I am using public computers and can't upload anything.)