A Travellerspoint blog

Jaipur

...and some pointers

sunny 21 °C
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We opted for a walk around the Pink City. It's basically s number of different bizaars, each section selling specific things. This is how it went:

- Lucky, who is a bit of a charmer, drove us there because we were too lazy to walk

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- The top part doesn't sell any cooldrinks
- You need to be daring when crossing the roads
- We did not get hassled as much as everyone tells you you're going to
- There are more people concerned with you not getting hassled that with ones who hassle
- We experienced our first beggars today while driving home. They are far more persistent that the Traffic Light Brigade at home. They touch too
- We just sampled Indian sweets- the peanut brittle also tasted like incense
- You shouldn't come to India if you hate dirt
- You should come to India and ignore everything that people tell you will perturb you
- You shouldn't come to India with a privileged philanthropic conscience
- You mustn't spend too much time worrying about what the cows eat
- We are just as cruel to people and animals as India is to theirs
- Do not get too attached to things like pillows and bag locks
- Do not be afraid of the toilets
- The smell of urine does exist on occasion, but like other things, accept it or block it out
- People are either very unfriendly, which you will realise within 10 seconds, or, like most, they are curious and extremely friendly
- Random smiles and hellos should make you feel good
- South Africa earns brownie points upfront. "South Africa is famous." We play cricket
- The jasmine perfume smells genuinely like jasmine (maybe jasmine incense)
- Cats do not seem to exist in Rajasthan
- Jaipur is probably the most likely place you'll find an international adaptor, otherwise settle for a forced-fitting 3-piece contraption like ours
- Good old-fashioned kites are in, in Rajasthan
- Carts are driven by camel in the drier parts
- You'd be advised not to wear slops
- When you see a sari you like, buy it, the predominant colours and patterns change from town to town
- Father Christmas just cannot be Indian
- If you're cash-strapped and need to buy christmas presents, India's the place to be!

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Happy Christmas folks! We'll be on a 17 hour train trip to Varanasi

Posted by JayneHol 05:59 Archived in India Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Train

Jaisalmer to Jaipur

14 °C
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Despite miserbaly sore tonsils and an exploding head , I survived the train trip to Jaipur unscathed. No, I lie. I left my beloved pillow on the train. This is like the worst thing that could happen after DB. This a profoundly sore realisation and moment...Anyway, I'll mourn in my head...
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We arrived at 5:45am at the guesthouse. We're waiting for a room to become available.

The guy at reception to "Mr Japan" (a Japanese toursit on the phone): "I need to know where you are come from. No sir, where you are come FROM? Okay, you come from Agra? Delhi? Jaisalmer? Jodhpur? Bombay?...Okay, Agra. Thank you, sir. NOW I can tell you how much the rooms are... YES, sir, we have water. We have hot water. We have cold water. We have normal water. We have water from the tap. We also be having MINERAL water...all sorts of water we have here."

It's now 7:36am. He hasn't stopped talking. But he's funny!

Posted by JayneHol 17:41 Archived in India Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Chiapati

27 °C
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I went over to Luta's house this morning for chiapati. She was waiting for me. She sat me down in a room and started grinding garlic and cardamin. She then moved me to the floor of her kitchen or cooking area and proceeded to make me a curry with onions, spinach and a vegetable I don't know with chilli powder and curry spices. She kneaded the dough for the chiapati and cooked those.

They were put in front of me with a bowl of curd (which I couldn't bring myself to try) and she watched me eat. She kept feeding me more after showing me the space between my stomach and my pants!

"You are no friend. You are my sister."

I didn't take my camera, although I wish I had. After leaving, I went to town to buy her a scarf and say goodbye.

"When my sister go, I'll be sad."

Posted by JayneHol 00:43 Archived in India Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

I had tea

sunny 25 °C
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Despite feeling a little shitty, I ambled around town for a bit by myself this afternoon. It took a while to find a place that was willing to print my pictures of The Family Down The Road, but eventually someone did with a little persuasion and after I had accepted their renewed printing price that was double what was originally quoted. Regardless, my amble made me feel happy and I found my way to the family's home so I could deliver the photos. I was ushered inside and sat upon the bed and given some snacks and (delicious, hot) chai.

I'll be honest, it was weird. The grandmother, another family member and the mother all sat on the floor and stared at me. The two children stared and laughed and dug in my shopping bag and the group of us attempted to have a conversation with a shared English vocabulary of about 50 words. I wish I spoke Hindi.

I had to insist that my chai was good. Not just good, but excellent, which it was...luckily. I had to get over my fear of milk. The milk for it came straight from the cow outside who has the newborn. I hope I don't get that unpasteurised milk disease. The tea was pretty hot though so I'm hoping that combined with my probiotics (which I have no clue about, but am taking anyway), I'll be fine. So far so good.

Then grandfather came in and he told me Hindi is good and English is no good.

I later gathered he was asking me about my husband, so I told him "we" are getting married next year in April. His granddaughter translated this information. She must have been fairly accurate because I was then encouraged by grandfather to say April in Hindi and learn to read it too.

I felt bad for lying, but after chatting to the mother, Luta (spelling?), I reckon telling the truth may not have been the better option.

I made an awkward attempt to say goodbye to the 7 pairs of eyes staring at me. Then Luta pulled me aside and begged me to come for chiapati tomorrow at 11am when her children are at school.

I promised.

She is unhappy. "My life no good." "Work too hard." "No happy."

She reminds me of a Mika song.

She was so excited to talk to me. She took me through her unfinished house and made me promise again to come for chiapati tomorrow. I guess I am going for chiapati. I'm scared of grandmother though. So is she. Perhaps we share something, that and a desire for something new. For things happy.

I left with a gift of two mints in my pocket. They are the smell of India. The taste of incense. The pungent fumes of India's breath.

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Posted by JayneHol 07:20 Archived in India Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Some Pics

Jaisalmer and Mr India

25 °C
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Posted by JayneHol 02:44 Archived in India Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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