Dubai, UAE/New Delhi, India
Admittedly, I had previously never had the urge to jump on a plane and go to India, but when an opportunity arose to attend a Sikh wedding of a friend, we had to take it. Flying out of Houston, the first part of this adventure was a 15 hour flight to Dubai with an overnight layover at the airport. We arrived feeling pretty good considering it was 4am at home. We had rented a hotel room within the airport so we could leave our bags and explore a little bit of Dubai the next day before our flight that afternoon. Dubai was the most streamlined city I have ever been to. From the airport, we jumped on a train that took us to the mall and Burj Khalifa. I knew the Burj is the tallest building in the world, but seeing it in person was mind blowing. As I am afraid of being in tall buildings, Britt made it a point to go to the top. It turned out to be a wonderful experience, but my stomach was in my throat the entire time. After the Burj, we walked around the mall and grabbed lunch before jumping back on the train to the airport. On to New Delhi!
Again, we arrived at our destination in the middle of the night. The jet lag had started to kick in at this point. The New Delhi airport was our first taste of India and its madness. I thought I had mentally prepared, but the reality was a swift kick in the ass. Absolute chaos. We were told there would be a driver waiting for us at the airport, but about 2 hours and many phone calls later, we finally realized the guy with the MR. BRIT LANY sign was our guy! Another hour later and we got to meet up with my coworker and friend, Yudi at his aunt's house. With all the wedding festivities planned, we had to fit in a trip to Agra the following morning to see the Taj Mahal. Again, the train station was a chaotic place, but we managed to find our train. Stepping off the train, like all the other times, was again pure chaos with literally hundreds of drivers and tour guides fighting for your attention and business. We randomly picked a guide, as no other method was popping in my head at the time, and off we went in a strangers car to hopefully the Taj. We were very fortunate to find the guide we did. He stayed with us all day and took us around to many different historical sites in Agra, including the Taj Mahal. We trusted him enough to leave our backpacks in his car while we walked around and explored (dumb idea.... most likely). The Taj Mahal was almost too much to take in. Its beauty is overwhelming to see in person.
After our day trip to Agra, we were ready for a slower pace. Fortunately, it was time to settle in to the wedding festivities. Unfortunately, if you have ever been to an Indian wedding, there is no time to relax! We partied and celebrated at a pace never before experienced in my lifetime. It was an absolute blast the entire time complete with exotic alcohols and foods. Eventually, Yudi and Uppi were formally married and the party continued.
The last few days entailed Britt and I exploring New Delhi. It is a beautifully busy and noisy place. We got to see India Gate, the gardens and Old Delhi. One the last day we were in India, we were invited to attend a Holi Day festival at a relative of Yudi. This was one of my favorite moments where everyone throws colored powder and just has a good time. While I never found out the meaning behind the holiday, it was an incredible experience to be apart of.