Blinded by the Taj, or My Claim to Fame

I hadn't been feeling real well, but it was December 31, the last day of 1996 and our chance to see the Taj Mahal. So we trudged off through the bus loads of tourists and the floods of anxious people all pushing for their chance to see the Mighty Taj.

Once we made it through the crowds and the security checks we stepped through the large main gate and gasped at the awesome sight before us. In the usual fashion we stood, dumbfounded for a few minutes, trying to take it all in and then shot a roll of film.

My stomach churned and I felt worse. The harsh sun, the mass of people, and the confusion of it all only added to my discomfort. I took a dose of medicine and having forgotten the bottled water in the car, I swallowed some candy to relieve the horrible aftertaste.

Traffic on the streets of Agra
My condition only worsened. I just wanted to sit down, to take a break for a minute, get out of the sun. We climbed down the stairs after touring the massive structure and started to put our shoes on. All of a sudden I was hit with a wave of nausea so strong I doubled over and kneeled on the ground. I told Mom we needed to go right then, I had to leave.

We started to walk back to the main gate, past the reflecting pool when my eyesight started to go. Everything got real fuzzy and faded and my head throbbed. I stumbled as quickly as I could to the nearest bench. I bent my head over and gagged. My muscles felt like mush and I couldn't move. I felt exhausted and drained, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't see anything by that point. Everything was bright white, my head reeled, and my legs ached as they tried to keep up with Dad.

I could hear people gasp and feel them draw back in horror as we struggled to get out. I am probably the only person who has ever distracted any attention from the awesome Taj Mahal. But we made it out, through the touts and to the taxi. By the time we were in the cab I could see again and my head stopped spinning, and by the time we were back at the hotel I was better with the exception of being a little tired.

I saw the New Year in that night, toasting with my electrolyte solution and falling asleep around 12:02. By the next day I was as good as new, although I can't say the same for all the members of our group!
The famed Taj Mahal in the distance, through the clouds of January pollution
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