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Published: February 24th 2008
Leaving Jaisalmer, a beautiful city, was not simple. I made many friends there, Indians mostly, and as I was walking up and down the streets, I was called by many shop keepers.... "INdian girl, chai?" Ah, sure why not... This is when I finally figured out why the cups are so small.... When you ask for chai here, the cups are usually good for 2-3 sips... But then, when you end up staying long enough in one place that you have to stop for 5, 6, 7 cups in an hour, then you are thankful that these cups are not like ours. Did I mention how much sugar they put in their chai? I didn't need to eat for the rest of the day.
So I ended up in the train again. It is always interesting to see who you will end up sitting with. It can mean a pleasant or not so pleasant journey. This time, I ended up with a friendly German traveller and a bubbly chatty INdian from Jaipur. This man never stopped talking and laughing for the first 4 hours of the trip. We talked about many things, differences between India and other countries, including the fact
...and his harem!
that Indians do not use toilet paper. So all topics were covered. It was fun, and I was glad there was another Westerner with me to answer some of the questions so I had a break at times. I was invited to stay with his family in Jaipur, but I decided to skip this big city, as my lungs are having a bit of a difficult time with the pollution and I wanted to take a break from big cities.
After a sleepless night in the train, I got to Jaipur, had breakfast with 4 Westerners, all solo travelers. 2 girls, and the German, and it was fun to talk with people quit everything to do a long long trip around the world... I seem to run into many of them these days.
Then it was another train to Ajmer, only a couple hours, and I was in the ladies coach, but it was more like ladies and a million kids coach, sitting 5 on a seat made for 3, but I am used to it by now... The thing I had never seen before though was the fight to get OUT of the train in Ajmer. Many ladies wanted
to come in and I needed to get out.... I realized that I had to take advantage of my heavy weight (I had my backpac on) and the fact that I had gravity on my side too, so I manage to get out... With shaky legs! From there I took the bus to Pushkar and met a lovely man who goes to the bus station many times a day to fish out the foreigners from the crowd and bring them to his guest house. This is nothing unusual, but what is unusual is to find out that this is one of the nicest guest houses I have seen yet, in a very quiet setting, close to eveything (Pushkar is small) and cheap and India-clean. I am here for 5 nights and did not bother to look around: this place is perfect and it even has a...swimming pool!
So first thing I did, I slept. And then I explored Pushkar a little. The travel guides all say the same: easy to find your way in Pushkar. Well, heck, they shouldn't say things like that, it makes me feel really bad. Because somehow, I always have trouble to find my way around.
Sunset and camel... a change from dogs and northern lights (I could have said farting camel instead of pooping dog...)
Yeah, if people ask me "so what did you do in India?", to be honnest I would have to say "I got lost". This is what I do almost daily.
Pushkar, holy city, with a lake in the middle (yeah, I though great, a lake, I will be able to use that as a reference point, but they hid that lake somehow. I could not even find the lake at first!). Many many temples, many saddhus (holy men) and many, many travellers. Neo-hippies, I would call them. I can see why a lot of people don't like Pushkar, and I can see why people like it. I decided to like it. It is very inexpensive, friendly, and timeless. I met some travellers that cannot remember when they arrived, and have of course no idea when they will leave. But it has its charms, and the real India is also there, if you bother to look for it. Friendly shop keepers, kids that will say hello until you are out of sight, sweet shops, poor people, smelly sewers, fruits and veggies markets, and colorful saris.
So a perfect place for me to chill out even more, rest after a busy time
One of the beautiful views of the fort in Jaisalmer
in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, recover from the pollution-induced cold and eat some more great food. And probably make new friends again...
I love India. I know, I know, I said it already...
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