I was at Mehtab Bagh, on the opposite side of the Yamuna River across from the Taj Mahal. That's where they bring tourists to watch the sunset, and as I walked through the gardens towards that incredible marble building, it took my breath away. Even from a distance, it was breathtakingly beautiful. I think I literally held my breath in awe of its beauty and in disbelief that I was actually there.
I walked to the end of the gardens, as close to the edge as possible. There, I asked some (other) Asian tourists if they could take my photo. The selfie stick just wasn't cutting it.
On a side note, Indians get really confused when I tell them I'm American. They say, "Oh, you look Japanese or Chinese." I try to tell them that I'm Filipino American; that my family is Filipino but I was born in America, but initially the concept seems to baffle them. I had to explain to my driver that many cultures exist in America. Okay, getting off topic, so back to the story...
I walked to the right side of the gardens (facing the Taj) because that's where the sun sets; the light is better on that side. As meandered in that direction, I struck a conversation with a young guy from England. His name is Josh. He's doing a full on Southeast Asia tour, which, when he's all done, will have been 2 years long. After that, he'll be going to Australia on a work visa as a civil engineer.
We talked about how traveling alone sometimes makes us each nervous: me, because I'm a girl and extremely little; him, because he's blonde and well, white.
I told him how I schedule my returns from my trips according to my friends' weddings, and he told me how all of his are having babies. And we kind of laughed because here we were, gypsying around and watching the sunset in Agra.
I faced the river, watching the sun go down over the Yamuna River and that glittering building, and when I turned around he was gone.
One of my favorite things about traveling is the people I get to meet from everywhere. You run into these wandering souls and share a moment in each other's journey. For a just a few minutes, your worlds collide, then you continue on your separate paths. Sometimes I think about these people and wonder where they are now and what ever happened to them. But then I just smile a little, because it always takes me back to the trip that I met them...
Like that one time I watched the sunset over the Taj Mahal.
|Josh, the English Gypsy|