greetings from india.

this is my third trip to india, so you'd think i'd be a pro by now, right?
hehe, ok, maybe not.

even if i'm mentally prepared, india is always a slight shock to the system.

i once heard rick steeves, the famous travel guide, say that india is his favorite place to tour...
because it's the most of opposite of any other place he's visited.
and that man has visited a lot of places!

but to me that's a good way to describe india. opposite world.

i've been to my fair share of places as well...i'm no rick steeves, but i've seen a bit in europe, south america, and even africa...and i must say that india is still strangely unique.

i think it would be fair to call it a land of contradictions.

there are many things about india that are very beautiful, and there are many things that are very ugly...and these things strangely often go hand in hand.

i'll tell you what i mean...

the sense of community is amazing...the extreme over population and lack of privacy is not.

the importance of respect is beautiful...the disrespect towards the lower classes is sad.

the strength of family is powerful...the family drama and politics would rival a soap opera.

the way people here are in tune with more nature and natural health is fantastic...the extreme pollution and environmental stress is a major problem.

so you never really know for sure how you feel about something here. everything is a double sided coin it seems. though maybe it's like that a bit everywhere?

anyways, that's my least from the big city of mumbai. i know things have varied a bit in other parts of the country that i've visited.

i've had the fun this visit so far of meeting up with some friends that we know from the US here. we've gotten to be tourists together, so that's always fun. the other day we actually did sort of a 26/11 terrorism tour...inadvertently. haha. we pretty much visited all the sites that were targeted by terrorists a couple years ago.

the gateway to india/taj hotel (they're right by each other)...

there were some cute little girls dancing with the navy band in front of the taj on the day we went...i think it might have been for some kind of 26/11 week memorial.

this is in front of the leopold of the spots that got shot up. on our other camera we got some pics of some of the bullet holes that are still inside...kind of eerie... good food though. :)

we also went by the oberoi, though i forgot to get a pic of it.

anyways, i shall leave you with this typical indian street scene. 

crossing the street here is an art. :)

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