The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Jaipur…Jai HO!

this post was originally from February 11, 2010

24245_10150124290005434_890870_nSo when I left off we were about to embark on a 6 hour bus ride on local buses. Lordy lordy! On average the driver would blow his horn about once every minute. Just when you would start to nod off, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. And the stopping and starting didn’t help either. I thought I was bad with motion sickness but Jessica didn’t last the first hour. She was puking next to me like nobody’s business. And when she asked the driver if there was a garbage (that she could put her puke bag in)…what did he do but open the window and throw it out with the rest of the garbage that lined the roads! With a leaky bag Jess had no choice but go along with it. And I guess that saying applied here-when in Rome…
We arrived in the city of Jaipur which is situated in more of a hilly area. It is quite beautiful. At one point on the bus my eyes were closed and just when I opened them right at the window beside me was a camel pulling some massive load. Yes, we are nearing the desert. This city has so many animals on the roads –  elephants, camels, oxen, extra large pigs, dogs and monkeys. Because of all the animals there is more than just garbage that lines the streets -there is dung…lets just hope that it isn’t from humans anymore. But that doesn’t stop the people from pissing right next to us when we are on the street corner.

We took a walk on the main street and then had a good old fashioned meal at McDonald’s. It baffles my mind that no matter where you go in the world McDonald’s fries are always the EXACT same. This McD’s does not serve beef or pork products. I had a McVeggie meal… it was interesting, but maybe the McMaharaja would have been a better choice??? At 6 we went to the cinema to watch a Bollywood film called 3 Idiots. The title was in English, but the movie was definitely not. And better yet the 3 hour movie had no subtitles. It was pretty funny from what I could understand, but what was the most enjoyable was how the audience hoot and hollered when anyone would kiss. Indian’s definitely watch movies differently than us!

24245_10150124290070434_6214465_nThis morning we were up bright and early and headed to the Amber Fort. It is a massive fort built in the hilltops. From afar the fort walls look like the Great Wall of China. We sat atop a painted elephant as he took us up to the fort. I was a bit distraught because the elephant handlers held this massive ice pick looking tool and would hit the elephant on the head to make it move. One of the elephant’s head was bleeding so I was having a fit and trying to make sure that our handler didn’t hit our elephant.


While there, I was far more interested in watching a production of another Bollywood film being filmed than touring the grounds of the fort. I asked if I could be in it…but i don’t think I fit in that well. Although  since I have been here I have been told that I look like a Bollywood star and that I also look Muslim (I didn’t know Muslim’s had a look). At one point we got stuck in the labyrinth of fort walls and couldn’t find our way back to the courtyard.  I felt like I was in a claustrophobic state so when I saw a small opening to the courtyard (like literally a small hole in a wall that was probably a drain hole) I squished myself through the hole making quite a scene. An angry security guard told me to get out but I just told him NO and ran the other direction. The others from the group followed but I think I was the target of the guards rages.

We went to quite a few more scenic areas and the last was the Monkey Temple. Here we climbed quite the mountain (or so it felt like) to the top where a temple was and where monkeys were in abundance. When we went inside the temple a lady gave us some sugar, then placed the red dot on our head and then asked for the customary donation. We put money in the dish and the lady wanted more. She seriously got pissed that we didn’t give her enough and I have never seen a look of death that ferocious in my life. So we left and the whole way down the children that we thought we befriended on the way up begged us for more money than what we gave them. Little fuckers! It makes me so sad that these children don’t know any better. They are taught from such a young age to beg with looks in their eyes that could melt your heart, and what you give is just never enough. It is awful!

Hawa Mahal – Palace of Winds

We were then taken to a textile factory where my shopping addiction came to life. Let’s just leave it at that because I feel guilty for spending so much money… and I don’t know how in the world I am going to lift my bag with my extra load. I will come home quite muscular I am sure.
So get this…right now as I am typing I here some music pumping and fireworks going off. There is never a shortage of sensory overload here! Oh and I saw 2 cows with 6 legs and one cow with 5 legs. Nearly puked right there.
Anyway, tomorrow is a new day and we are off on the bus yet again to Pushkar.
Until then…

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