Hello To The Taj
Agra Travel Blog› entry 58 of 67 › view all entries
May 17th, 2008 – by: Connie
It really was a gorgeous monument to visit. I arrived early in the morning to beat the tour groups but I was already too late. Despite being low season, the place was still crowded with tons of tourists, foreigners and Indians alike.
Everyone was bustling to get that perfect picture. The most common and most cheesey of poses I witnessed over and over again was a tourist holding his or her hand up in the air pretending to be touching the top of the Taj Mahal which loomed far in the background.
I still donâ€™t get it.
There was this funny indication that it was indeed low season though. Being such a tourist magnet, Agra has this reputation as being particularly swarming with pushy touts jacking up prices for rickshaw rides and gaining commissions all around town for shuffling hapless tourists to terrible souvenir shops and over-priced guesthouses.
I didnâ€™t have to deal with any of that pushiness. Being a backpacker in low season does give you the upper hand.
When I left me guesthouse looking for a rickshaw to take me to the train station, I expected to have to do the usual song and dance to negotiate a less inflated price. Being Agra, I expected to be up against stubborn drivers experienced in the art of haggling.
Me: I need to go to the train station.
Driver: Ok, ok!
Me: How much?
Driver: 90 rupees.
Me: 90 rupees?! But I only want to pay 50 rupees!
Driver: Ok...letâ€™s go! LETâ€™S GO!!!
Mind you, you have to picture several other frantic drivers rushing down the street towards us desperately yelling out prices hoping to enter negotiations.
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