>Two weeks ago today, my group left Delhi bright and early in the morning for a long bus ride to Agra. On the way out of Delhi, I took pictures of some street scenes. For more details, click on the picture and it will open in a new window in a larger format.This was a very typical sight: a crumbling strip of commercial property with shanties semi-hidden behind the stores. While I didn't intentionally take a picture of an STD/ISD provider, I am glad that I captured it because saying "STD" made Fearless Leader, our idiot tour guide, gleeful in the aren't-I-a-naughty-boy? Way that made me want to throttle him. What an STD is in India is a domestic long distance provider. ISD is international. People go into the storefront and can make significantly cheaper calls across the country and world than they can from home, if they even have a phone.This is a tent city. They were all over the place. I tried not to take too many pictures of the impoverished conditions because it made me feel very exploitative, but at the same time, I did want to show people what I saw there. Incidentally, when I showed this picture to Dr. H , she told me that many of these tents have satellite TV and people really love watching the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Satellite TV in a tent city. Who knew? The world continues to boggle my mind…A good depiction of the litter situation, although more often than not, there'd be kids, dogs, and cows sorting through the trash pile for food.This is one of the many cattle hanging out in the streets. Also, the building behind it is pretty typical. We never understood what was going on with these structures. They looked like people gave up finishing them halfway through and then they were left to rot, but again, we weren't sure what the story was.After driving many hours and a pit stop, we arrived on the outskirts of Agra, where the tomb of Emperor Akbar is. Akbar expanded the Mughal empire extensively during his reign, and was also known for his religious tolerance. He's kind of my favorite benign despot at this point. I complained before that we only had 10 minutes to photograph the outside versus three fucking hours the next day at the evil slave labor tourist trap marble shop, so I'll let that go. Sort of.After dropping our shit off at the hotel, we visited Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb, aka the mini-Taj or baby Taj. Jahangir's powerful and influential wife built it for her dad. It is sort of a prototype for the Taj Mahal.I love the details!Our day of sightseeing ended with a dysfunctional tonga (traditional horse-drawn carriage). I find it strange that I had more trouble taking clear pictures from a slow moving carriage than a speeding bus, but maybe that had to do with the bumpiness? Anyway, this is in old Agra and is a good representation of a street scene that we saw over and over. Next to a road, there would be a strip of stores that seem like they were built with no plan in mind and no paving other than the street itself.

Yep, I miss it immensely, although I'm feeling better lately.

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