Thursday, September 10, 2009


The time had come for us to start our assault at Rajasthan, the fairytale state of India. And we were quite excited about it. I still had very fond memories of the places I visited in Rajasthan almost 5 years ago, and the guidebook dreamily describes places like the big Meherangah fort that looms over the bright blue city of Jodhpur, the giant gold sandcastle at Jaisalmer, the palace in the lake at Udaipur, the carnival charm of Pushkar, the storybook whimsy of Bundi, and everywhere filled with happy, waving children, tons of camels, soulful music, glittering saris, big piles of chilies all over the place and tottering turbans in all the colors of the rainbow.

But as in all great fairytales some terrible times have to be fought through before getting to the good part, and that terrible time for us was Jaipur.
We started out arriving 4 hours later than expected because of the train being late. Then at the train station we were given a tough time by the auto rickshaw drivers who want to take you to a hotel where they get a commission, we finally found a pre-paid one (they are slightly more decent) then one of the commission touts tried to ride along – we had to tell him to get out! Then we could go looking for a hotel. We hauled our backpacks round to several that were full, before ending up at an overpriced one with a rock hard bed and a non-functioning shower. We took it. The cycle rickshaw we took into the old city dropped us of the wrong place, and of course he didn’t have change for our 100 rupees note either…

The streets of Jaipur were so filled with traffic it felt kinda dangerous to walk around, and dangerous to breathe the air thick with exhaust fumes. The place we had dinner decided to try and cheat us and billed us for double the agreed amount, at this point I was ready to kill someone, but tried to be reasonable and tell the restaurant manager that you can’t just change an already agreed to price, but he was not up for talking about it logically – so we just left the agreed amount on the table and told him if he had a problem with that he could call the police. Then the rickshaw driver we took back to our hotel had Martin walking up all the hills as it was too heavy for him (!) And rest of the time he pushed the bike instead of riding it, so we might as well have walked home. He then tried to get us to shop at his friend’s shop, before finally dropping us off at the hotel and asking for more money than what he had first stated.
We left Jaipur early the next morning.

1 comment:

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