I just checked by blog the first time to see that some of you have posted comments. Sorry I didn't respond, I will try to do so in the future. I am glad that you are reading them. I know my parents would, but it is good to know my friends are too.

I spent 2 1/2 days in Aurangabad after a mind-numbing, butt-numbing, cramp-in-your-leg-but-cant-stretch train ride. I mentioned this trip to some natives at another train, and they said they couldn't even do it for a few hours and gasped when I told them how long I spent in the Unreserved Class. So anyway, I went to two sets of caves in Ellora and Ajanta. Ellora has ancient Hindu, Buddhists, and Jain caves, which were carved out, around 1000-1500 years ago I think. The dates vary. There is the Kailasa Temple (Hindu) which is the largest monolithic structure in the world. All the caves were quite impressive, but awash with Indians (and a few other obvious tourists). One thing that was lacking, due to the crowded atmosphere, was the spiritual aspect which I hoped to feel while wandering through the caves. I took the bus to the caves with a German, Jochen, and I think he felt the same way. It was fun though.

Afterwards we went to Daulatabad, which was an old fort from the 14th century. Some places, while going through spiral staircases in complete dark, was really quite hectic. Groping hands went in all directions trying to find the next step. Only in India. The whole time, both at the caves and here, Jochen and I also became part of the attraction. I shook hands with 500 Indians that day, and had my picture taken at least 50 times. We were constantly stopped, mostly by adolescent boys, and younger men, and asked to shake hands and take pictures. After, they would scuttle off and giggle like a bunch of little girls. At first it was novel, but by the end you become a bit jaded and tired of it. They way we looked at it, we made a lot of kids happy, I think. Or we could have been just a big joke too. The next day I went to the Ajanta caves. They are 30 Buddhist caves from about 2000 years ago. Same story as Ellora, but even more cramped with people. Impressive, but not spiritual at all. It is depressing to be walking right next the caves, when all of asudden a worker there just chucks a bag of trash down the hill as you walk by.

We also went to the Bibi-Ka-Maqbra, a 'small' replica of the Taj Mahal. Of course I have pictures of all of these places, but the internet place I am at now has a good connection and they won't let me plug my camera in. Today I have run into some language barriers, and the Indians here, up north, have a strange way of pointing directions and saying no or yes. They don't actually point at where you should go, it is a wave of the hand in a top-wise to the side direction. What does that mean you might think. And that's the point. There no's look like yes's to me. "Ok" here can sometimes mean "no".

Right now I am in Ahmedabad. I traveled by bus, train, train to get here over 24 hours, which in hindsight worked out pretty well. I was relegated to Unreserved again, but only for 4 hours this time (at 1-5am). This morning I walked in the complete wrong direction across the city to get to this internet place. The place I was looking for isn't even there, once I found it's supposed truly by accident. But I have now accomplished one of three things I need to do today, so I am a bit more satisfied. I know where I plan to head for the next couple weeks I think, and am a bit more excited to get up to Northern India.

I got a Guesthouse right near a mosque, which I thought would be appropriate for the Christmas season. I won't be calling home, so this will have to do. Merry Christmas, and I hope everyone is having a good, fun holiday. Love ya.