Not that I’m out to set any record for modes of transport used, but hey I just counted 8 in this trip so far! (plane, train, automobile, scooter, motorbike, bike, cycle rickshaw and auto rickshaw). I wonder if I can get to 10 by May?!
I’m revisiting the trusted car for this segment. My train from Chandigarh arrived in Delhi at 1030am and I’m picking up my friend Rajiv (and some of his friends) from Delhi and continuing straight on to Jaipur, aka ‘The Pink City’ and capital of Rajasthan state.
Our driver, Darminder negotiated his way through Delhi traffic (a mission in itself) as well as trucks driving the wrong way on a divided road, giant tractor trailers hauling hay bales that are a lane and a half wide, cows on the median, trucks carrying buffalos, trucks carrying horses, trucks carrying other trucks…and myriad other road hazards and entertainment. I dared not close my eyes for the whole trip in fear of missing any of it!
My hotel, The Royal Orchid Central Jaipur is really quite nice- a quiet oasis from the bustle of Jaipur (hmm flashbacks to Chennai?!). This was another top pick from Trip Advisor. There’s a great rooftop pool and restaurant and very cozy rooms. The staff are eager to please, down to the always smiling, Rajasthani-turbaned Hukkam Singh at the front door, with a moustache so long it wraps around his ears!
The hotel does have the most archaic system to get connected to the internet though. I had to call the front desk to log on; they sent a guy to my room with a print out that I had to sign; he tore off the top half with the log in info and gave it to me. Obviously labour is cheaper than technology around here. Unfortunately it’s not that cheap to connect, so I have written this entry offline, while Batman and Robin dubbed in Hindi played on the TV in the background, and now I’m online, I have one hour to upload and check my email before Lethal Weapon starts- I can’t wait to hear how Bruce Willis sounds in Hindi!
In the morning Darminder organized a tour of the city and I must admit, I was just not paying too much attention to the guide- I was just enjoying the sites. Let’s face it, who remembers dates and place names on these guided tours anyway?! In fact I’m thinking of starting my own tour company called “Valley Girl Guides”. It’s a California-based company(!). Here’s our blurb on Jaipur:
“So, like you HAVE to go to Jaipur!? There’s like a new city, and then there’s like an old city...the old city is right in the center of the new city. The new part has like tons of markets and shops and stuff, and a bunch of cows and wild boars and like a zillion flies!
Oh and do you like Pink? OMG! You’ll love this place, it’s like totally PINK! This Maharaja dude back in the day had the city painted when his friend, Prince Albert visited. I thought that was a piercing…Whatever! But it’s like so cool!
Ok so then you could like, walk around the Maharaja’s palace and see the world’s biggest sundial at the Junter Munter, and other old stuff. Then you can go up to some fort in an old Jeep (you CAN NOT walk up there in heels), and you can see a fort or a something or like a castle. It’s got gardens and a room made of mirrors. Basically it’s more totally awesome old stuff. It’s AWESOME! Have fun and buy some stuff from the child labor kids, they worked hard for your dollar!!
Valley Girl’s Top Tasty Tip: Try freshly squeezed Sugar Cane juice! Note: the glasses are not washed and there are like a zillion flies sitting on them, so ask for a clean glass. Your glass will be brought out from the back so you can’t see the flies that were sitting on it, so that's way better. The juice is totally delicious and just 7 Rupees so you can totally afford the hospital bill for Hepatitis if you get it! Good Luck”
Two nights and a full day of walking had left me exhausted. I will just have to let the pictures do the talking! Gosh that reminds me I really should upload some!
It’s now Saturday and I’m stopping for a night in Delhi to pick up one of my cousins from Vancouver who happens to be in town too- we’re off to see the Taj Mahal tomorrow!