PUSHKA


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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pushkar
March 22nd 2010
Published: July 10th 2010
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PUSHKA
22/3/10: We got up late and checked ourselves in, once again going through the gruelling paperwork that has to be filled out at every new guesthouse and hotel you stay at. Information like Name and address, passport No, date of issue and expiry, issued from which country and place, date of entry into India, last place come from, visa No, date of issue and expiry, where you are heading next, how long are you staying in India all this has to be filled out by both of us twice, once for the hotel and the other for the police commissioner. Once we find a place we are reluctant to move just because of this. We headed into town for an early lunch; the first restaurant took 10min to bring us the menu. We were served by a white stoned westerner and when we overheard the fridge wasn’t working we decided to cut our losses and go somewhere else. We walked through town looking at all the shops and handy crafts that were all too familiar by now. As soon as we ventured too close to the ghats we were hassled by Indians wanting to explain and wish us good fortune by placing a rose in the water also having cotton ribbon tied around our wrist at the same time. This was just another scam to get money out of you and at the end would ask for a donation that would go in there back pocker. Jacinta had fun with this later as she wanted to learn about the custom and religion but didn’t want to, or intend to pay for the show. My exact thoughts were that this had nothing to do with religion or worship as it was invented for the tourist to take money from them. The next restaurant called Honey and Spice lacked service as well and we were wondering if it was just us or is the whole town was like this. The menus in Pushka are something to get use to as we found it hard to order most of the food; the whole town was mostly vegan food, it was good in a way because it forced you to experiment with food I would not normally order. We decided to stay because we were so hungry and we were rewarded for our patients. The meal was an eggplant toasted sandwich with a side of lentil and pasta, it was very tasty and healthy. We had to wait another 10mins just to pay the bill as we couldn’t find anyone. There were four people in the restaurant and it was as if nobody cared. We walked around the town to try and figure out what this town was all about. Our first impressions were right, our view of this town was going downhill with every corner we turned. Supposedly being a holly city all I saw was a bunch of drop kick hippies and alternates smoking dope not to mention a lot of them looked like they had been in India to long or had not been to the barber since teenage years. The whole town felt like one big tourist trap that was built on spiritual tourism. There was absolutely nothing of interest for us so we tried to book the first train out. Once again we had to succumb to the buses as the trains were full, this time we would come prepared for the night bus and were able to get Valium over the counter to help with the sleeping problems associated with the wild erratic driving of all the Indian bus drivers. We meet another couple of travellers while walking around the empty lake due to the dry season. They had exactly the same feeling as we both had about the town and were confused about the purpose of it all, agreeing the town seemed very fake. I believe that in the right time of year the town would be very photogenic as the lake would be full of water instead of rubbish and everything would be green instead of the dust storm we had today. Apart from that I still find it hard that if they worship the lake and the ghats they contain then why do they throw all rubbish into the very thing they are selling to tourist. The government had to step in and clean the lake out because it was so polluted and discusting.We filled in some time by climbing the hill behind the town to watch the sun set over the dry desert hills. By the time we got back it was dark and we didn’t even have the energy to go for a swim. We both had the shits with Pushka from get go, and were upset we waisted our time here. We went out to dinner that night and past yet another festival, we were wondering if all the festivals were following us around India as there seemed to be one in every town. Back to our hotel to shower and test the valium dosage before our bus trip tomorrow.

23/3/10: Trying out the valium was perfect timing as there was a restaurant that held a small band and the music played on till 3:00am in the morning. I woke up at 2:00am wide eyed and feeling confused that it wasn’t the morning yet. Jacinta on the other hand didn’t sleep and had a terrible time until I gave her another valium to sleep. We both woke up around 7:00am, I felt great but Jacinta felt like a train hit her, yet again she had no sleep.
The day was spent trying to waste time until our bus left at 7:30pm for Agra. I had a haircut from the local barber that ended up showing me all his photos of other travellers and thankyou’s from his scrap book, it was hard get out of his shop because he just wanted to keep talking. He gave a great haircut though and it was a pleasure to have met him. Leaving the town of Pushka was easy but all the bad things I had said about the town flew out the window when Jacinta and myself walked back through the town with packs on. We had most shop keepers and locals come out and say their goodbyes to us as we left. This almost left us wondering whether we had not given the town the attention it deserved, ALMOST!
We were going to spend a couple of days in Jiapur but decided against it when other travellers told us to give it a miss. So with 7:30 getting close we walked to the bus stop that was located right out front of an Enfield mechanics were I sat and talked to the owner about motorbikes, also discussing on how to import a Enfield bike back home to Australia. He said the only way would be to send it home in bits and pieces without a frame and buy the frame in Australia. I got along with so well that he offered me a ride on his Enfield Machismo 500 that he only just bought second hand for 80000rs, what a bargain! He started the beast and the thumping motor came to life. I jumped on and within seconds I was riding down the road with a mechanical noise and only men would understand. Everyone can hear you coming for miles as you thump down the road sending shockwaves from the exhaust pipe. I felt really comfortable and balanced, it was night time and I still would have loved to have taken it up to a reasonable speed but it was way too dangerous on Indian roads. I parked the back in front of his shop with daggers stabbing me in the back from Jacinta’s eye’s. I don't think she was impressed that I had spent the last half hour talking to this guy, then got on the bike and rode off into the night without a helmet on. I really don’t know what her problem was? Wink Wink.
It was now 8:00pm and still no sign of us getting on the bus, there were a dozen travellers from various countries all trying to get to Agra and we were all tired and frustrated about the whole thing. A guy came out and said “come come” and within seconds we all got our packs on to get in a bus that had been standing there the whole time. Confusion rained down again as half were going to Udaipur and the other Agra. So far from the information at hand we had to catch this bus into Ajmer only 15min away then hop on another bus to take us to Agra. We loaded our packs in the bus and waited for our departure. 20 minutes later and half a dozen cranky people and one stoned hippy and we still had not moved. They were loading packages and boxes on the roof of the bus to take to the next town. The tourist buses are not tourist buses in India, they are transport buses and local people movers disguised as tourist buses. Finally loaded with goods we set off up and over the pass holding on for grim death as the driver whips around the corners like driving in a go-cart. We turned up in Ajmer and were told to wait for the bus that was only 15min away. 1 hour and 15min and the bus had finally turned up. The half dozen other travellers had to hop in a tuk tuk with all their bags piled on top of them. My only guest is that the bus was some way away to take them to Udiphur, who knows as they don't tell you anything in the country. Our bus finally turned up at 10:00, only to be so over booked that none of the other travellers including us had any room to put our bags. We had one guy that ran the whole show and tried to hurry us on the bus to get going. Our packs and day packs were placed on our sleeper beds waiting for a decision on where to put them. This guy could not have given to flying farts about where we were going to sleep and where the rest of the traveller bags were supposed to go. Jacinta started to get up the guy saying that we were not going to sleep on our packs and we had to put them somewhere, he walked away from Jacinta not even wanting to hear a world she said. This set me off the handle and I immediately got up him and started to yell and call him a arrogant prick for not give any consideration to the very travellers that paid for the bus. I was lucky enough that the other travellers backed me up after saying that we were not moving until our bags were packed properly. The whole reason this happed is because they fill the bus with locals that ride for cheaper and they get cash money in their back pocket, so with woman and children sleeping in the aisle you can get upset very quick when you see how they treat people. When I asked the guy what he was going to do about the situation he then walked away from me not even acknowledging that there was a problem. I really lost my temper then forcing him to look me in the eye while I gave him a gob full putting him on the spot to make a decision. I have never sworn so much in my life and the other Indians tried to calm me down before I murdered the guy. The funny thing is that I would never do or act like this back home, but India was bringing out the worst in me as frustrations turned into anger on the flick of a switch. I also felt that if they don’t give a shit then why should I. It was left to all of us to stand our ground until we were able to get all our bags tied down to the top roof of the bus making us late by another 45min. I think the other travellers thought I had lost a screw or maybe was mentally unstable but when I apologised to them for my behaviour they totally understood and praised me for sticking up for all of them. Just before we set off we made sure that the bus only had one stop and that was Agra, this of course included a toilet break along the way. Not that it meant anything but he confirmed that is was a direct rout to Agra no picking up locals in the middle of the night. We both hopped into bed had two valium’s each just to try and sleep through the rest of the night.



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