Udaipur


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March 17th 2010
Published: July 10th 2010
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UDIPUR
17/3/10: I slept alright but could have done with more. Jacinta once again had trouble sleeping through the night and tried to sleep in as much as possible. It was hard to sleep being right next to the toilets and sink. Every time someone went to the toilet the smell would waft over her nose reminding her off what she was sleeping next too, not to mention the whole Indian morning cleansing ritual. Someone near the sink was making a terrible vomiting noise, this lasted over 10min and it really started to piss me and Jacinta off. There is nothing worse than hearing someone choke, cough and splutter within meters of you sleeping.

INDIAN MORNING CLEANSING RITUAL
I’m not sure if I have written about this before but in the morning the Indians have a really disgusting ritual that they perform in the morning. Someone started this ritual only 2meters away from our beds; It first involves brushing their teeth for more than 10mins, this is fine as it is quiet and doesn’t disturb anyone until they move onto brushing their tongue. Once this happens you know that their awful ritual has started. This person started to dry heave as they try to brush the inside contents of their stomach with their little tooth brush. This is followed by more heaving and trying to cough up the contents of their lungs. If they can’t cough it up they will make a bellowing growl and hock it up from the bottom of their throats spitting the contents into the sink with more drama than you could imagine. After 5mins of this, it starts to make you feel sick and if that didn’t, the last ritual will. This person does nothing other than two fingers down their throat brushing the back of your tongue violently until they made the sound of a dyeing camel so everyone in the vicinity of one square kilometre or in this case the train has heard them. Not all Indians do this of course but the ones that do make up for the rest. They are not shy about the awful sounds and never try to conceal it; it’s almost like they want you to hear how good they are cleansing.
So with Jacinta only meters from the bathroom sink it made it hard for her to sleep in. I had enough of this as well and on trying to ignore the whole thing I built a mental image of the man behind the sink; 6ft fat Indian weighing more than 120kg with sweat dripping off his forehead and nose, wearing a dirty singlet and trouser pants that had to be pull so high just to keep them from falling off his belly. I hopped off the bunk bed and turned the corner to reveal the culprit. I was surprised when I saw an Indian lady in her early twenties that stood no more that 4.5ft and weighed 45kg. She had managed to fool me and Jacinta into thinking she was this disgusting creature. I suppose with years of practice she was obviously good at her cleansing.
We arrived at Udaipur train station at 8:00am catching a tuktuk to town for 30rs. Once again the tuktuk driver tried to take us to his hotel of his choice for a commission and once again we walked away from him and his hotel. We already had a tip from our Swedish friends Nick and Maree. The hotel name was Hotel Minerwa close to the Gunga ghat. We managed to get a great room for 350rs/night which was the best hotel we have had yet. The hotel is 5 storey’s high and lined with marble tiles and a marble staircase. The restaurant on top has free WiFi and this was the clincher for us. The views were also impressive. The only problem with having free Wifi is we didn’t leave the room for the rest of the day only coming out to have dinner on the roof top restaurant.

18/3/10: We walked through the town looking at all the beautiful artwork and paintings. Udaipur has over 5000 artist and there are so many paintings around. Most paintings are done with fine detailed brushes; the finest brush is made from a single hair of a squirrel that is so prevalent in Udaipur. The work is so fine that even with a magnifying glass you still have trouble seeing the single strokes of the brush. The paintings are graded on detail and you will pay more for it. The detail was so impressive even right down to the last reflection in the eyeballs. I wanted to be able to afford a nice painting to take home but we could only afford three small paintings of a horse (power), camel (love), and elephant (wealth). It was a little piece of Udaipur we could bring home. Jacinta was more impressed by the bead work and found a guy that sells semi precious stones, she most of the day swapping ideas.
We carried on walking to the largest palace in Rajasthan perched on top of the hill. It is made out of white marble and cost 50rs entrance fee. It was worth every cent but we were unable to take in our cameras unless we paid an extortive rate of 200rs. It showed paintings of former rulers, including battles won and hunting tigers. Entrance is through the big elephant gates that are so common around the city.
We wanted to get some height so we decided to climb Sunset point. It was 40c+ and by the time we walked there we were so hot we ended up getting the skyrail instead of walking up. It only cost 63rs/person to go up and it was worth every cent not to climb the hill in this heat. On top there is a fort built overlooking Udiapur and a wall that stretches around to protect the whole town.
You can clearly see the fort walls that circumnavigate the town. The view was great and it showed the other palaces in the lake that are now five star hotels. We managed to bump into some Germans that were heading in the same direction. As soon as we got into town we were cut off by the festival that started only an hour before. We watched as they paraded through the streets in colourful dress and costumes. One guy had a moustache more than 1.5m long, he ravelled up his moustache in his turban for safe keeping. It was chaos in the little intersection as there was no room to move. Everything they do in India has to be loud, the music was blaring from speakers behind and in front, it was a relief when they turned them off to let the band play their bagpipes and it was just as bad as the music. We ended up finding our German friends again after losing them in the crowd, we all agreed to meet on top of our hotel for dinner while the festival finished with fireworks over the lake.
19/3/10: Today we walked over the other side of the lake; once again I got distracted by the beautiful paintings and artworks. Jacinta yelled “elephant” I looked outside the shop and an elephant blocked the doorway. We walked out to take a photo and as Jacinta was about to take a photo of me standing next to an elephant it sneezed and snot went everywhere. I was lucky that the trunk swung past me and the contents sprayed behind, missing me. I laughed when he did it a few times, each time a massive amount of mucus sprayed out everywhere. We donated 20rs for the pleasure of taking some photos, we gave it to the elephant that took it in his snotty trunk and handed it to his trainer on his back. We walk a little further and tried to take some photos of the town from the other side of the river. Jacinta had a monkey giving her cheek from the mango tree above. Within seconds, the monkey let us know we were not welcome. The monkey started to throw its own shit at us, we had to take shelter from the clods of shit raining down from above. It was only through closer inspection we found out she was a new mother and our presents was no welcome. We finished our walk and returned to our hotel. We had a lot of stuff to send back home so Jacinta took it upon herself to get them posted home. On the way she was eating a samousa’s and had the spare one in her hand, as she looked at the shop displays a cow came up and eat the spare samousa right out her hand I pissed myself when she told me this. Just another typical day in India first sneezed on by an elephant, then shit thrown at us by a monkey, then held up by a samousa steeling cow. Jacinta returned 1.5hours later from the post office just to send one large package home. It involved a process of boxing, weighing, then stitching a cloth cover around the box then just to make sure no one still tampers with the stitching a red wax stamp is dotted around the seams. I’m glad she went and not me. Later that night we went out to see the festival that had another couple of days to go, there were people everywhere, I pissed myself laughing because Jacinta cannot handle the crowds very well, she gets cranky and wild as hundreds of people bump, push, brush into you and then don't get out of the way so you have to bump, push and brush your way through the swarming mass of people just too get anywhere. It was the type of place that if one person sneezed with a bad cold 10000 people would be sick the very next day. It ended up being all too much for her to handle and she had to take small break from the crowd just to cope with the constrictive feeling. We were hungry so we took it upon ourselves to eat some street food sampling just about everything. By this time we were used to the Indians serving everything with their hands and only hoped we wouldn't get sick. The festival got too crowded and boring so we headed back to our hotel and chilled out.
20/3/10: Not much happened today, we hung around our room using up as much WiFi as possible, we also booked our tickets to Pushka for 1:00pm tomorrow.
21/3/10: We packed, had breakfast and sat around until we caught a tuktuk to the bus station. I was reluctant to catch the bus after the last time and swore I would never catch another bus in India ever again but I was told that the roads were a lot better up here and not so windy. We will see at the end of this blog how bad it was? I’m on top of our hotel at the moment catching up on my blog, Jacinta is swearing at the dodgy Wifi as she can’t get on to talk to her mother.
Well the bus turned out to be the wrong decision. It was supposed to be a tourist bus but I think there is a bit of money making on the side. We didn’t leave until 45min after we were supposed to and the bus ended up stopping every 5-10min to pick up and drop off local passengers. Plus we didn’t end up arriving until 3 hours after we were supposed to as well as not being dropped off at the bus station like we were told. This meant we were dropped off in the middle of nowhere and had to catch a tuktuk to the bus station and then catch another bus to Pushka. We didn’t get there until 10:30-11:00 at night and to top it off I left my WHERES DAN AUSSIE HAT on the bus, I was so pissed off but it was lucky I had another. To make up for the bad luck we sat behind a guy who‘s father owns one of the hotels we were going to look at. We ended up getting a room for 200rs/night plus there was a pool in the hotel, this would help cool off in the 40C+ temps we were reaching. We dumped our bags and finally had something to eat in there restaurant, showered and went to bed.



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