I like thinking back to where I was a year ago. Not only is it an opportunity to relive a dream, it's an opportunity to think of someplace warm. I don't like the cold and having had a year of mild temperatures enables me to always think warm when reminiscing.
My thoughts often go to the obscure. Not the "big picture" of what we were doing or what we were seeing but some oddity that stands out in my mind. A year ago today we were standing in front of the Taj Mahal. You can read about that on Marty's blog from a year ago. I'm remembering Agra; home to the Taj.
We pulled into Agra on November 8th around 8:00 PM. It was dark, but not dark enough. Some places should never be seen in daylight, Agra is one of them. It was crowded, it was dirty, it was seedy, it was... We had heard it was rip-off city, we could see why. Then we arrived at our hotel. Thinking back, I'd say it was the worst of our accommodations. They handed us a pad lock key. You unlocked the pad lock and then, once in the room, you put the pad lock on the inside to lock others out, or to lock yourselves in. It was for just one night I told myself but I knew I wouldn't get much sleep with one eye open.
We wanted to be at the Taj by dawn the next day. This required us to leave all our belongs in the room until we returned to check out. I just knew that upon our return, anything of any value would be gone. The thought wasn't sitting well with me at all. Then I noticed the latch on the outside of the bathroom; ideas began to percolate. I retrieved a pad lock, purchased in Zanzibar, from the bottom of my bag. We placed all four of our suitcases and all four of our backpacks in the bathroom and then placed our pad lock on the outside of the bathroom door. Yes, you're picturing this right. We were locking all our belongings in the bathroom. Even if management had a key to the pad lock of our room, they still wouldn't be able to get into the bathroom. We left at 6:00 AM for the Taj Mahal feeling a little more at ease.
As we walked to the Taj Mahal none of us discussed the fact that we had just locked all our belongings in the bathroom; it seemed normal - we were in Agra.