We got to the train station in time, thanks to this really awesome, fixed-price, no-tips-needed, taxi driver. He explained how he wants to promote the Indian tourism by actually helping foreigners instead of leaving them feeling scammed. The railway station was busy, but people were super helpful showing us the right platform. However, before getting on the train, we decided to grab a little breakfast at the railway station cafeteria. Yes, we were stupid enough to split a mayonnaise sandwich...
The train arrived to Agra only two hours late. Before that, we had been sharing a train car with an assemble of Indians; old grandmas and grandpas, families with children, elderly gentlemen with turbans, and modern looking young people speaking perfect English. When we got to Agra, we spotted a rickshaw with a very nice driver, Munnah. Munnah showed us a little notebook filled with messages from people all over the world, over several years, many from Finland, too. All the messages we could understand (my Japanese is not very good ;) ) pretty much had the same message: Munnah is a great guy, who can be trusted, and who's prices are very reasonable. In '09 messages the price for a whole day rickshaw drive in Agra was 500 rupees, now it was 600. He got us to our hotel for 100 rupees, and we agreed on meeting him the next day for a whole-day tour including Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and shopping.
The plan changed only a few hours later, when I started vomiting. It changed even more when Ari started vomiting. In short, the next 12 hours we spent running to bathroom, Ari sleeping mainly on the floor due to its close distance to the toilet, and me curled up on the bed, our systems evacuating everything that had gone in in the past day. I kept on forcing down water only to vomit it seconds later. And we had planned a trip to Taj Mahal for today...
This morning we learned that Munnah could't make it, but had sent his friend Raj, instead. Raj also had a book of messages from foreigners, which reassured us that he's a good guy. However, when we told him we'd like to go straight back to the hotel after Taj Mahal without a shopping tour, he got really upset. Probably missed some extra income when we weren't buying stuff from his friends. But we felt obligatory paying him the full price, anyway, so he should be fine.
Things got interesting at Taj Mahal. We had to leave our hotel room key with Raj, since they are not allowed in (apparently people want to carve off stones from the mausoleum). The security check at the gate was more impressing than on an average airport. Feeling relatively okay, only wanting to die a little bit, we swore on going inside the mausoleum, taking a couple of pictures to prove we had been there, and leaving. However, before we got far, a whole bunch of Indian girls surrounded me wanting to take pictures. For a moment there, I felt like a movie start, and was able to squeeze off the first smile of the day on my face.
But it turned out that being so sick and at that point basically not eating for one and a half days had taken its toll. We found ourselves sitting down every twenty or so meters, trying to get enough energy to make it back. We saw the mausoleum, took the pictures, and started heading back to the West gate, where Raj would be waiting for us. However, Ari insisted us going to sit down in the park, catching our breath. And proposed to me. And I said yes. The mixture of pure agony due to the food poisoning and feeling happier than ever have been our main thing today; celebrating will happen in Goa, once we get there :)
Raj was waiting for us outside, gave us our key, and took us back. Later, we decided to stay in Agra for one more day, ordered a taxi to Jaipur for Wednesday (around 3500-4000 rupees) and try and recover before Jaipur and Goa. Only a little bit of vomiting and diarrhea has happened tonight, and we have been able to finish half a subway sandwich and five spoonfuls of vegetable rice together. And since we do not have to get up for the morning train, we are positive we will be okay. At least we are happily engaged now <3