Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Trip to the Taj

After a tiring, but fun and productive week at work in our Gurgaon, India office, a coworker and I spent our Saturday visiting the Taj Mahal. The Taj is a 4 hour drive from Gurgaon, which is right outside Delhi. We left our hotel at 5 AM and when we arrived the haze (which I was told is not pollution, just "winter" weather) unfortunately had not burned off, but it was still a pretty amazing sight. I mistakenly had thought the Taj Mahal was a palace of some sort, but it's actually a massive mausoleum. It also isn't just white like it usually looks in the photos. Up close you can see that it's covered in intricate jeweled flowers and writings that are inlaid in the marble. Definitely worth spending 8 hours in the car. (I managed to sleep for most of it so it didn't seem that long at all.)

The Taj Mahal

A labor of love

The Taj Mahal was built in the 1600s by a grief-stricken emperor after his wife died giving birth to their 14th child. 20,000 workers spent 22 years building this testament of love for his deceased spouse. I was apparently also part of the attraction, even though I have yet to keep a guy's attention for more than 3 years, let alone 22 when I'm dead. After getting my photo taken in front of the Taj, a mother and her daughter asked to take their photo with me too. Blonde hair has weird effects on people here.

The jewels on the Taj sparkling in the sun

The love story of the Taj seems to have rubbed off on me because on the way home, the OKCupid messages started flooding in. Even though my profile says I'm in Singapore, there is apparently a "nearby" feature that locals can peruse. I'm not sure if this is new or if I just didn't travel while I was online dating last time. Either way, several Indian men were eager to show me around Delhi tonight. A few were real winners:

If you are online shopping believer... Try n date me, I come free and with a 30 days return guarantee ;)
I think and I see you r very attractive beautiful n active...u look like an actress ....Impeccable and neat....u attract me :-)
My name is [name I can't pronounce] and I am unemployed. I like what I see 

The potential suitors

While I doesn't look like I'll be finding love in India, as mentioned previously, there are a few tentatively scheduled dates for when I get back to Singapore. Here are the front runners:

The music-playing techie (OKC)
Recently moved from the US to Singapore, this guy caught my eye quickly. Tall, cute, also works in tech, musician. Three messages in he asked if I wanted to meet up for coffee. Not afraid to be aggressive without being creepy. I like it. However, he generally takes 3-4 days to respond to messages, which isn't a good sign. But he does keep responding eventually, and he did just move across the world so we'll see. I'm not holding my breath for this one though. Too bad because he really is cute.

The yacht-riding chef (Tinder)
A chef for me is always a plus since I don't cook and a chef generally is OK with that. This one happens to be Australian (I'm such a sucker for accents) and works on a yacht that takes him all over the South Pacific. He doesn't actually live in Singapore, but he's there frequently. If it gets me a ride on a yacht trip, I'll make an exception for this guy. Plus his photos are pretty hot. Except the one where he's kissing a fish...

The coffee-drinking photographer (Tinder)
This guy I'm not sold on yet. The conversation was a little stilted, but he seems interesting. Does a ton of traveling. Also hard to tell what he really looks like from his photos. It's so much harder to get info out of guys on Tinder. You don't have much to go on when you start a conversation since the profiles have a fraction of the content. This guy will have to follow up with me to actually meet up, and I'm not sure I will even if he does. We'll see.

The kite-surfing PhD (OKC)
Swiss guy who just finished his PhD program. Most of our conversation has been about kite-surfing even though I've only gone once and I was pretty bad at it. His date ideas were various types of water activities - fake wave-riding, wakeboarding, SUPing - so that was intriguing. A few hesitations with this one though. It's hard to tell what he really looks like from his photos so he might not be that attractive, he doesn't put his height in his profile so most likely he's short (not a deal killer, but I do have a thing for tall guys), and the conversation ended when he asked for my number and I said I don't get texts in India. (I actually can, but see my previous post for my philosophy on giving out phone numbers.)

The rock-climbing professor (OKC)
I really need to find a belay partner who will go climbing with me so I may end up being friends with this guy even if there's no chemistry. American (I think, though he didn't say so explicitly) who is a communications professor in Singapore. He does have a shirtless photo on his profile, but he's rock climbing so that gets a pass. Again no height listed, but he at least looks proportional in his photos. Lots of travel photos which is cool, but you can't see his face in all of his pics and in some he's definitely cuter than in others. We'll see how it goes in real life.

The dragon-boating banker (Tinder)
British guy (again with the accent, swoon) whose messages kept me well entertained during a 2 hour run. Asked me out for a drink and was willing to wait until I get back from India. Haven't heard from him for a few days though. 6'1" so not short, and he has Don Draper as one of his profile photos, which is perhaps a bit cocky, but there is a striking resemblance to his other photos. Not sure Don Draper is the type of guy I want to date though...

The fun flirting crush (real life)
This one technically shouldn't go on this list since there's no date on the horizon and in all likelihood there never will be, but I have a bit of a schoolgirl crush on someone I've met in Singapore. For a variety of reasons, it has a very very minimal chance of ever turning into anything, but for now I'm enjoying the innocent flirtation. All good friendly fun that keeps me amused and occupied while I decide if I actually want to go out with the above gentlemen.


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