When we went to India over the Christmas break we did not realize that we were taking such a risk. When I say risk I am not talking about safety. I am talking about weather.

Little did we know – it was a terrible time to go to India. In the evenings it gets cold and that causes fog. Lots of fog. According to our guide he went to places like the Taj Mahal many times and all they saw was fog. How terrible would that be?

With this new insight we made a plan as we traveled from Delhi to Agra; the weather would dictate where we would go when and Anu would pick when we went to the Taj Mahal.

It turns out, we were very lucky. According to our guide .. very, very lucky.

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-57

Before I get into the Taj Mahal, I need to backtrack. The experience is an interesting one. You stop off at the tourist arrival area where you board electric buses to head to the Taj. This is in an apparent effort to reduce pollution. 

They also provide you with some clear guidelines on what you should not do. I am very glad I left behind my nife, colors and helmate.

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-82

Very glad because the Ministry of Defense was ready to jump into action in their very intimidating car.

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-45

You get dropped off and have to walk to the entrance – through stalls, craftsmen and tourist hawkers. Oh yes, we also had to stop for water buffalo. They were crossing .. near the Taj Mahal.

They came up from the river bank onto the road and back down .. a normal day in the life of a water buffalo, passing through thousands of tourists.

2013 12 25 Agra Ethan_-15

2013 12 25 water buffalo_-4

It has to make you smile. On your way to the Taj Mahal, and you get stopped by a herd of buffalo. Incredible India. I expected the sights below, not the water buffalo.

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-86

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-85

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-93

In moments we arrived. This ticket got us past the long local lines and in to see one of the wonders of the world.

2013 12 25 Taj Mahal_-88

The Taj Mahal.



The best way to get a laugh out of a Japanese person in August:

Japanese person: “Oh, you just moved here. So sorry, it is SO hot in Tokyo in August, so sorry”

Response: “I love the heat. I think it is fantastic”

Japanese person: Bursts out laughing and stares at you in disbelief asking “really? really?” (You can see in their eyes that they think you might be crazy)

No matter where I have lived, people love to talk about the weather. In the UK whinging about the weather is a national pastime and fine art (For the record; I thought UK weather was fantastic – around London. Scotland, Wales – not so much). In Canada, people do the same as the Japanese in the summer, complaining about the heat until the snow arrives, then they complain about how cold it is.

Tokyo in August, I don’t know what the fuss is about. We walked to a restaurant on Wednesday night and it was glorious. 26 degrees, a small breeze and people everywhere.

If I never see snow again, I will be a happy camper. Bring on the heat.



I watched a beautiful sunrise in Edmonton today (A cell phone does not do it justice). It made me think of that old saying:

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.

What I didn’t know is that the Bible has a saying too:

In the Bible, (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, “When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.”

Turns out it may not be a myth. 15cm of snow on the way in Edmonton, airport delays being reported …..