Ajay said he had a business deal with someone in Delhi and we could both go and stay in a guest house of his client’s company. This sounded okay and much better planned than the trip though Europe.
He had spoken of retiring and living comfortably but that wasn’t exciting enough for him in reality. He had worked and been a department head and/or consultant in the U.S. for years in the fields of coated fabrics and non-wovens for various companies and loved meeting people. He always seemed to have some business deal going, none of which came to anything after he retired. However, his mind kept churning them out and they gave him opportunities to meet new people.
It took me years to find out what was his problem. When I read about bi-polar disorder I was fairly certain that was it. He was billiant and is still very intelligent and clever even in his 80’s. The problem is that he won’t take medication and insists he’s well. Traveling with him is always surprising, but can at times also be unpleasant.
If there’s one season in India a person should hesitate to travel north for sightseeing it’s winter. It becomes very cold and is often foggy. There are no heating systems in Indian homes and hotels. People in private homes and in businesses, use space heaters if they have them or just bundle up. The problem is that the electricity sometimes goes off either unexpectantly for some reason or because of planned load shedding. That also makes a hot bath impossible. I slept more than one night on that trip fully clothed including my winter coat, even under a thick quilt.
We took a sleeper train north to Delhi. In our car was a young, newly-married couple on their honeymoon–with a group of friends their own age. I thought perhaps it was another Indian custom I wasn’t familiar with until I told an Indian woman friend of mine and she laughed and laughed. Since it was this couple’s first marriage, they either didn’t understand why they shouldn’t bring their friends along or they were very, very shy.
Nothing came of the business venture, but Ajay suggested we go to a travel agent to book a tour by car to various interesting cities and tourist sights in that region of northern India. It started out well at least. (Next blog–Our Driving Tour)