We got back to Agra around 6 PM last night. The drive from Jaipur takes about 5 hours and some of the roads are simply atrocious. They make the Pennsylvania Turnpike seem smooth as silk. We're back at the Mughal Sheraton which has quickly become our home away from home. As this is the third time we've checked in here in about 10 days, we're starting to get special treatment. Last night there was a bowl of fruit, a plate of cookies, and fresh flowers in our room. The kids are excited because they think we are VIPs now and the only time the hotel puts warm water in the swimming pool is when a VIP arrives.
Our plans have changed yet again and now we'll be staying here until Sunday morning, at which time we'll check out and head to Delhi. Our flight doesn't leave until almost midnight, so it'll be a long day no matter how you slice it.
I realized I lied in my last entry. We did do a tiny bit of sightseeing in Kanpur because we went to visit a temple while we were there. It's called the J.K. Temple and it's that schmancy white building in the pictures. It is, by far, the largest and most ornate temple we've seen thus far. There seemed to be a lot of local school groups also visiting while we were there. One group of school girls was staring at us (well, at the two whities....me and Becky) to beat the band. Becky and I decided we wanted a picture with them. We gestured to show them what we wanted and most of them shrieked and ran away. A few brave souls stood their ground and we went and stood with them. Suddenly a bunch of the kids filtered back in and posed for the picture with us. If you've seen the pictures, there's one of Becky and me towering behind the giggling group. Afterwards, they followed us through the entire temple, maintaining a respectful distance, but keeping their eyes on us at all times.
I saw a quote in the newspaper here from somebody's travelogue that said something to the effect of: If staring was an Olympic sport, India would win a gold medal for sure". This is sooooo true. Becky and I are used to being stared at in India. Everywhere we go, people stare openly and at great length. It's not at all hostile, just simply out of curiosity. If you catch them staring, you know what they do? Contnue to stare. Juliana has also attracted some attention, especially when she's out and about in her regular clothes. When we visited Sikandra (Did I write about that? That's right before I got sick and got so far behind) and were taking pictures of the kids feeding monkeys, I noticed a Muslim family with the women in full burqas taking pictures of Juliana.