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Published: February 6th 2010
We are in Udaipur now. We are staying a few days and then flying back to Delhi before going on to Kerela. I have managed to upload photos and will post a few here and also a link to a lot of photos on google. We stayed a few days in Pushkar which was nice but the lake has dried up -- no monsoon rains for a few years. We had a nice room about a kilometre from the centre -- which was good because it meant we had to do at least some walking back and forth every day -- of course, we could have taken a rickshaw but mostly we walked. It is vegan in Pushkar which didn't really matter to us as we are not eating meat anyway -- actually we are not eating much at all. We are not sick but don't feel so well all the time. I am eating a lot of pizza -- something that I don't eat at home -- seems I have gone off of Indian food almost from the start. Looking forward to lots of fruit and fish in the south.
We are taking taxis from town to town --
India has advanced so much in the last 20 years -- they have good roads, electricity, water, not much begging -- many, many charity organizations to feed the poor. Nobody eats betel nut anymore -- so no blobs of red everywhere and no red and stained teeth -- now they chew tobacco -- doesn't make as much of a mess. I always used to feel so sorry for the dogs here -- they were the lowest of the low -- skinny, miserable, beggars used to kick them just for fun -- now even the dogs look better -- and Indians even have dogs as pets. There are a lot of Indian tourists and many stay in the better hotels -- many prosperous people here. India's karma has changed.
We really liked Bundi -- not touristy, not many tourists at all. They have an impressive fort which we could see from our hotel and it was lit up at night -- very pretty. Monkeys are the lords of the town -- they are everywhere -- and quite aggressive -- they steal food and whatever else they can get their hands on. The last morning of our stay a monkey must
of taken something from a courtyard and there was a lot of shouting. Suddenly all the monkeys in the area came running and all started jumping in and out of the courtyard -- and the inhabitants of the house seemed to be fighting a losing battle against them -- finally admitting defeat by throwing balls of bread up on the walls and going back inside and locking all the doors and windows. We had monkeys swinging through the trees outside our window. We also took a trip around the lake and saw the place where Rudyard Kippling stayed when he was writing Kim (I read it the first time I came to India). The local market was very colorful and the old town fun to wonder around in. I bought some earrings and we bought some little paintings for framing at home -- but we have been poor shoppers. Did I say that all this stuff is everywhere at home? -- no reason to come all the way to India to buy it.
We took a taxi from Bundi to Udaipur. The driver was a young guy that seemed absolutely delighted to be driving a car (with foreigners too!)
and used his horn continuously, honked everything on the road and anything near the road. We stopped and bought him tea at a chai stand, he also took a pastry filled with some sort of cream (we declined) and put the cigarette we gave him behind his ear, sat on the only available chair, and surrounded by admiring road people was in his element.
Now we are in Udaipur. We have been to see the city palace and will probably go on a boat ride this afternoon. We probably won't do too much sightseeing -- barbarians that we are -- we have seen enough forts, palaces and museums for one visit -- and anyway it is not our first trip. Might find a nice rooftop cafe and just hang out a bit -- even do some homework -- afterall I have dragged it all the way here with me and am not doing anything. But I did finish one book and am half way through the next.
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