Wednesday, December 15, 2010
India, Part 4: Woozy Edition
I've got about five minutes before hopping on the bus. Yesterday was a bit of a doozy--literally. We went to Sikri, which had an interesting fusion of architecture from Asia and the Middle East. (Think Muslim arches within pagodas.) Sikri was okay, but unless you're really into Asian fusion architecture, it's not a must-see. On the other hand, the Stepwells structure in Abhaneri was interesting--it looks like an M.C. Escher picture, the one with all the interlocking steps. Not a must-see, but still quite interesting.
After checking into the hotel (Hotel Udai Villas Palace, Bharatpur--looks nice, but it's in the middle of nowhere), I wandered a bit and saw a few agricultural workers sitting around drinking chai. I can't resist chai, so I sat down and ordered some. In the meantime, one of the workers offered me a small, 1x1 white packet with a brand name, "Amber" on it. I thought to myself, "All of these guys are using it, and it's got a brand name on it, so it can't possibly be illegal--after all, no one, not even an idiot, would create so much evidence linking him back to a potential crime." It turns out I was right--it wasn't illegal, but it was chewing tobacco, something I've never had before. I think you're supposed to chew the small, crunchy balls slowly, but I popped the whole packet in my mouth. In no time, my eyes teared up, and I spit out the rest of the seeds, acting as casually as I could. My head got a bit light, and I started feeling woozy. I calmly finished my chai and got up to leave, but my balance wasn't the best. I still managed to right myself and walk back to the hotel. I can't believe this stuff is legal, but there you go. I'll update you later in more detail.
Your humble traveler,