>It is cold, raining, and generally miserable here in New York City today, as it more or less has been since I returned from India. Two weeks ago, however, I was traipsing around a wonderful abandoned city, Fatehpur Sikri, on the way from Agra to Jaipur. It was hot as hell, I gave up my insane idea of wandering around India in a state of dehydration so as to avoid the need for public bathrooms which involve squatting over a porcelain hole and no toilet paper, and I was feeling fine. I also decided that if I was going to learn anything about the places I was visiting, I needed to lug along my ginormous guide book, as Fearless Leader, our insipid and incompetent hired guide, was not doing the trick. This led to me having words with Fearless Leader, who was insulted that I brought a "dead guide" with me, and then eventually apologizing (insincerely, of course), and him putting his arm around me (ugh), but it was still a wonderful day. You can see why:The entrance to Fatehpur Sikri.

The astrologer's kiosk.

A very cool pavilion.

Ha! I would have been a giantess back in Emperor Akbar's times (late 1500s). OK, fine, I'm standing on a step, but the doors are still pretty low. I just fit through without needing to duck my head, and I'm under 5'2".
The "dead guide" and I pose on a stairway to heaven (in the skirt I got thanks to Karrie's pre-trip shopping recommendation and a linen shirt I got at a market in Dehli on one of the only normal shopping opportunities we had). Or wherever this staircase went. I guess the gates at the top aren't exactly pearly.

"Dead guide" and I got along splendidly. When I got back, I sent it back to the public library that Mother-in-Law borrowed it from. I hope whoever takes it out next has as fantastic an experience in India as I did.