Series One continued: Do & Dee’s quest to check if the Taj Mahal was really made of marble.
I thought we were stuck halfway to Agra.
But I was relieved to find our ride just around the corner, our driver was having a smoke and some street food. I signaled him and we were back on the road in no time.
We finally reached the outskirts of the Taj around 2:00pm. At this point, these extremely persistent sandal-clad Taj Mahal tour guides came rushing towards us. They started to flock so I had to think of something quick before the intensifying aroma made me pass out.
Garando: “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe…. Which one of you’z got the tidiest toe?”
Taj Tour Guides: “ ??? ”
Garando: “You! You will be our tour guide.”
Garando’s Tour Guide: “Thank you, friend! You will be extremely delighted to learn about the Taj’s wonderful history of love and tragedy! May I ask where you are from?”
Garando’s Tour Guide: “Oh! And how about the lady?”
Garando: “She’s from Mongolia.”
Garandee: “Nyo! I’m Japanese!”
No fuel powered vehicles are allowed within a certain radius of the Taj (I think around 2km) so we had to ride an electric rickshaw which I thought was pretty cool.
This was the final gate we had to go through before reaching the courtyard of the Taj Mahal. We were expecting to see the Taj Mahal behind that gate, but what we did not expect was how we'd react upon the sight of one of the seven wonders of the world!
Garando’s Tour Guide: “These massive gates were built to shield the Taj Mahal from… uh... pardon me, friend... but I am still explaining the…. “
Garandee: “Chop chop, Garando!”
Garando: "puff.. puff..." (walking really fast)
And there it was... in all its glory, THE Taj Mahal. Our jaws literally dropped, we were totally overcome with awe by this majestic monument of love.
Garandee: “Wow, it’s so white ne….”
Garando: “Yes, perfect concept for a Tide advertisement. Let’s go Garandee!”
Garando’s Tour Guide: “Uh…would you not want to hear me finish about the gate first?”
The weather was searing hot, probably reaching 40 degrees. We wished we hadn’t left our water bottles in the car, but we had enough adrenaline to hustle through the hot courtyard to the foot of the Taj, our trusty tour guide strutting behind us trying to catch up.
Visitors must remove their footwear before setting foot on the Taj. There was a footwear counter where you can conveniently leave your shoes/sandals. The counter didn’t have anyone handing out number tags for your shoes so you’ll need to dig through a pile of it when you’re done with the tour. Good thing I knew how my shoes smelled so I can just follow the scent.
A long carpet was laid out leading up the Taj. Thinking that I can probably cook an egg on the floor because of the heat, that carpet was an excellent idea!
As soon as I took off my shoes it immediately felt like the cement was grilling my soft, delicate feet so I started hopping frantically to get to the carpet! I made one big leap for salvation, and finally settled my feet on it.
The carpet was made of rubber. Apparently it was 10 times hotter than the cement floor.
continue to part 3...
My apologies for not being able to post more often... It has been crazy in the office and I've been catching up on a lot of work!