I'm at a zoo in Mysore. A man holding a baby asks me in broken english to take his photo, but does not hand me a camera. Confused, I hold out my hands; he hands me his baby--who immediately starts to cry.
A man holding a baby asks me in broken english to take his photo, but does not hand me a camera. Confused, I hold out my hands; he hands me his baby–who immediately starts to cry.
I'm very confused, but I later realize they wanted a picture of their baby with the token white guy. But I don't do babies, and the sweaty, balling child wants to be back in his comforting Mother's arms, not my awkwardly extended, camera-expecting hands.
The baby's mother retrieves her young, and I notice my friends are far ahead. I apologize, and start sprinting towards them. Looking back, I see their confused faces. I don't like children, but I don't always run in the opposite direction when a stranger hands me their child. In this instance, our tour bus arrived 20 minutes ago, but I didn't have the time or the language to explain that couldn't afford to get stuck 125 km from my office; I have to work tomorrow..
Outside of the "look, a white guy! Let's take a photo with him!" experience that has now become commonplace, I've been having a good time in India. I took the Karnataka government-run tour bus through Mysore. While I generally hate this sort of guided tour, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to a palace.
I also went to the Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore, which is the first temple I've ever visited. My biggest take-away was that I know nearly nothing about Hinduism, and I was more thoroughly confused than enlightened. I couldn't even see the deity, as she was covered in flowers--but the excitement was palpable as the crowed pushed & shoved to advance to the viewing area, still 15m away from their idol.