I would like to accept this award on behalf of those who cannot make it tonight and be with me here today... And would also like to take you on the beginnings of a journey, so sit back relax and enjoy the ride.
First and foremost, I need to thank my loving family and supportive friends. Without them I could not be taking on such a momentous project. I am indebted to them for more than I can explain in this one speech alone. And for that, to those who are reading I thank you.
Currently, I am taking on India with my itinerary in one hand and a roll of TP in the other. I have my trusty fanny pack filled with all my valuable worldly possessions and a backpack full of an ever changing wardrobe. As I visit one region I pick up a few things with some local flavor and style, while in turn I inevitably sacrifice a few things to the backpacking Gods watching over me (and sometimes it seems as though they are laughing at me having a gay ol' time).
My first travel buddy of many has just left today to go back to the "real world." It is my first glimpse into October when I to will lose the battle and fall victim to a similar fate. However, despite public opinion, I am not dreading the comforts of the western world and my old life per-say. What I am dreading is the looming thoughts of this trip having an expiration date.
I flew into India a little over one week ago and hit the ground running. My trip has included a full day around Old Delhi seeing the mosque and Red Fort. Followed by a day of rest due to unforeseen strikes all over the country. Conveniently enough for me, I got sick and was on bed rest for the entire day. Early the next morning meant a trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. And what an impressive symbol of love for a wife it was! Husbands around the world dread the day their wife lays her eyes on this temple because from that point on... nothing, and I mean nothing you do can compare. You will always be trying to keep up with the Jones's or in this case the "Shah Jahan's." A husband's only disclaimer is that if you don't marry an emperor then don't expect a Taj.
Following a day very pleasant day trip to Agra we were scheduled to leave by train north towards Mcloed Ganj. This train left from the train station located at Old Delhi. Let me take a moment here to help you visualize the train station at Old Delhi. Picture this, a very public urinal at the END of a huge 5 day music festival. You with me? So now imagine that this urinal or johnny-on-the-spot is the size of a basketball arena... and this basketball arena has the heat cranked up to about 115 degrees F.. and that the owner of the basketball arena in the interest of making a few more shekels over sold tickets by 100,000 and EVERYONE showed up.. If you can imagine this, then you are beginning to imagine Old Delhi train station. Even, the most veteran of travelers crumble to their knees with tears streaming from their eyes when they hear that their train they just booked is leaving from Old Delhi train station.
After about 30minutes of disorganized questioning of anyone in uniform (I am sure at some point we even interrogated the janitors by accident and for that I apologize to them whole heartedly) we discovered our train, was of course canceled... This cancellation comes at 10pm and we are anxiously trying to begin our trip north to the outskirts of the Himalaya Mountain range.
Will they get up North? Will they be stuck in Delhi? Does Woody become a shoe shiner in Delhi train station to pay for a ticket home? Tune in next week for the next installment... Same India time, same India channel...