The world must be coming to an end in a zombie apocalypse.
I wake up with a bang on the window and car horns attempting to drown out the next. I turn around and see two beady black eyes coming from a skeletal figure staring at me from the other side of the window I was just resting my head on. In my haze amongst the headlights i I feel that this is what the world must look like nearing the end, when overpopulation has drawn out any vegetation from the planet and everyone is trying to get somewhere, trying to escape, in rickshaws, tuk tuks, trucks, camels, donkeys, cars… Only there is nowhere left to go to.
The trip from Delhi to Agra lasts about four hours, and for the first time it hits me that we are in the second most populated country on earth. In the US and in Colombia, I’m used to seeing country side between cities, a breath of air between chaos. Yet during this four-hour trip, the long highway is replete with people, dirt, animals and noise. So. Much. Noise. Very quickly I find myself staring straight into incoming headlights, but our car quickly swerves and puts us back on track. My nerves are on end and I feel like punching a puppy.
Thankfully we get to the Agra hotel, and I order a delicious palaak chat for dinner, which is one of my favorite things to eat. Comfort food. The hotel is the Oberoi hotel. If you are ever going to splurge on a hotel, let it be this one! It cannot get any better than a morning view of the Taj Mahal in the horizon.
Get to the Taj early, make it at 7 because there will be a line already in place. This is by far the prettiest view I have ever encountered. Not Paris, not beaches, this building is it. It was cloudy, so we didn’t get the famous sparkle from the marble, but it is still really hard to get tired of staring at it. In comparison to poor,miserable Agra, the extravagance and perfection the Taj sits on the other side of the scale. The contrast is the first I see, but I expect many more to come.