It was a rough morning as Elyse felt ill on the 2-3 hr bus ride from Pushkar. She felt like she could vomit just looking out the window, plus other passengers on the bus were vomiting and hacking like crazy. Lorin, fellow American, thought the passengers had tuberculosis (TB) as they coughed the whole ride. Elyse also witnessed a dog eating the carcass of another dog (told you India isn’t for the light hearted).
Driving into the city we passed though a small section of town that looked like a nice residential neighborhood. This was one of the only ones that we had seen on our trip. Despite the fact that all the television commercials showcase clean western style homes and neighborhoods in their advertisements we had yet to see anything even close to this in our first few weeks here.
We knew that there was going to be poverty and filthy conditions here but were still not prepared for how underdeveloped India actually is. At least in China there are clearly places where you feel like you are in affluent areas and tell there is a different class
of people living there. India is not without its pricey upscale hotels yet the minute you walk out the front door you are engulfed into the real India (A lack of public utilities including electricity, sewers, no bathrooms and trash collection of any kind.)
The highlight of the town was the Raj Mandir Theater which opened its doors back in the 70s. It’s not just a movie theater but a tourist attraction. It’s a must do if you are in this city. The seating in Asia is unlike that in the US, you buy a seat number and there is no general seating. In this particular theater there were three different sections that varied by price. We went diamond which was the best not by choice of us but the choice of the ticket seller. The prices ranged from 70 rupees to 120 rupees ($1.40 - $2.40 per ticket) We sat in the front row of the mezzanine level. We saw Don II which was in Hindi and was three hours with a fifteen minute intermission in the middle.
We stocked up on our popcorn, soda, and candy before we read
2nd most photographed monument in India behind....you guessed the Taj Mahal
a sign that said no eatables in the theater. We decided that we would sneak them in since this seemed to be pretty strange. Apparently the sign is written in poor English and they used the wrong words or no one followed the rules as everyone brought in their snacks and beverages. Total cost was $1.40 for our snacks.
The theater probably could seat 1,000 people and the screen was close to three stories high. The movie started and we were impressed with the level of production. It was an action movie pretty much like Oceans 11. Every once and a while they would drop in some English one-liners which is fairly common when they speak here; other than that there were no subtitles. It was still pretty easy to follow the plot and we enjoyed our experience very much. It turned out to be the highlight of the city.
The next day we walked the pink section of town. In this section a lot the buildings were painted pink, or rather salmon, but we don’t know why they did this, probably just a tourist thing. Later we ate at the OM
Tower on the 14th floor which had a revolving restaurant. It’s funny that this building towered above all the others while in China it would be one of the smaller structures.
Stayed 2 nights at Hotel Palms which was our 1st tub/shower combo since Hong Kong. It was a greatly welcomed and this is when we really started to slow down on our trip and Elyse felt better by the 2nd day. I think India had just gotten to her mentally and a little physically.
I never know what life changes will throw at me or how I will deal with those changes. What I do know is that I have a passion for travel and adventure. Please follow along as I travel around and experience life to the fullest.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
This blog was created for our families and friends to follow our experiences and journeys. Also, so I could remember what I have encountered during the time abroad & beyond. If you have stumbled upon my blog I hope that you ... full info