Riding local, riding abroad. Doesn't matter. "One less car" bike commuting and "Bikes Belong" advocacy, plus "I ride solo" bicycle travel. Racing is fun, but there are so many equally great reasons to ride.
Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Today's episode of east meets west
At the Agra station, I agreed to let tuk tuk driver Shabbu do a tour for 1,000 rupees, a princely sum, for Taj Mahal and Agra Fort with a break for a delicious vegetarian thali lunch. I'd originally planned to pay 130 rupees for a one way to South Entrance of the TM. Agra Fort wasn't a must see, given how I prefer to spend plenty of time visiting one sight, not trying to do it all in a day. It worked out quite well until I'd exited the Fort, when Shabbu insisted that I really should go looking at precious stones in the typical backstreet "craft workshop" and kept deflecting my statement "no shopping." It's been a long day of climbing up and down narrow stone stairs, bad air pollutants and general 3rd world filth, and I was in no mood to play along. I do not take kindly to being suckered as a stupid tourist and don't treat me like a compliant Indian woman. After I took a cursory walk around the sales point full of gaudy trinkets that I had no intention of examining, let alone negotiating a price on, I told the salesman I wasn't buying, walked out and seated myself back in the tuk tuk before Shabbu had finished a cigarette. Had this nonsense continued I'd planned to tell him that I would deduct 100 rupees from the agreed price for every additional craft shop he tried to deliver me to, as a discount to me for having my "no shopping" order continually ignored. He's a quick learner. I got back to Agra station in plenty of time for my 17:50 return to Delhi on the much cleaner Gantiman Express.