Jaipor part two and Jaisalmer

The train journey here was long, boring and delayed by 2 hours; no major hassle this time. I was not looking forward to dealing with the city’s criminal element again: the rickshaw drivers, but the first one we found turned out to be an honest man J he referred to me as bamboo after the stick I carry, which I thought was a cool nick. My stress levels at point of entry are still low, but lets see how long that lasts.

We are staying in the same hotel as last time; it is a bit of a dive but it is cheap, and I like it here. At 200RS a night you can’t argue, so I recommend this place (Pink Sun); they have a cool, cheap restaurant to, but I recommend the Moti Mahal around the corner.

We went to the planetarium but the show was in Hindi only, so we did not bother. Our internet café has closed down, because as our german friend said “any information older than a week, is out of date in India” and a few new restaurants have opened up since.

We did not really get up to much, but I guess the highlight would be being shouted at by Police armed with bolt action rifles in the middle of the night. They have very strange booze laws here, which allow the sale and consumption of booze at off licences, but apparently you are not allowed to carry a sealed bottle down the street in plain sight. The officer of the three had no uniform or any marks of authority, which seems to be the norm for high ranking officers, as I have seen men with rifles in jeans and T-Shirts hanging out with the cops on the streets; which is very scary, as if they where on their own, what would you think? I would be running if the cops where not with this ambiguous armed man.

We went and had our selves measured for a suit; waited a day, and then collected them; that would be great, except they fucked Tom’s one up and he went mental at them. They seemed to think mediocre tailoring is okay and did not see a problem in the numerous errors they made. My suite is good, but the tailored shirt they made me looks like it is off the shelf; I did not want to cause more issues as Tom was ripping the shit out of them and everyone was pissed off. They sent the tailor off to fix Tom’s suit and shirt and we waited there for two hours… lame. The suit came back and there was still issues, plus they fucked up one of the pockets in his trousers, so Tom sent them away again and again we waited; they came but Tom was still not happy, and oh yes we had 40 mins to catch our train, so we paid them (grrr) and ran back to the hotel.

We grabbed our bags and stuff in a mad rush, but I forgot my precious bamboo stick L L then got into our 100 rupee rip off rickshaw to the station, then we had to wait for an hour as our train was delayed, which is typical.

We get on the train, and they are using the stupid Indian queuing system where everyone pushes everyone. My self and Tom step to a side to allow the madness to fix it’s self, except oh no, they all have to push me to, so I got pissed off and knocked six people out of the way, saying “you want to push, I can push to. Out of my F’ing way”; I am not proud or happy to stoop to their level (or at least my perception of it); apparently they where upset, but maybe they should have thought of that before they violated a tired, big man; but it was mainly the accumulated anger of all the other similar situations that caused me to act. I did not bother looking back, as no regard was shown for me, I will show no regard. The two people who where in our seats very kindly moved without any protest; I assumed they where being polite, but Tom just suggested they may have witnessed the mayhem I caused, and decided it best not to try anything.

I was going to write a blog on their system of queuing but can’t be assed. We have pictures from our last visit here, of two women pushing against each other on a rotating gate, both with puzzled looks on their faces, as to why they cannot get through; we watched that gate and witnessed the same thing a few more times in disbelief at the stupidity of it. I think the people here lack empathy, at least in everyday life or maybe it would be less harsh to say they have no manners from a British point of view, as everyone seems more than happy to push and shove without a care; they do this thing where they put a finger in your ribs to make you move, no matter if no space is available; or they place an arm around you and simply move you; that has happened so many times I have lost count; it is especially dangerous and rude when you are wearing a 20kg backpack, but I have to smile and respect the local traditions and culture, la-la-la-la.

The train to Jaisalmer was long and boring, plus the people sitting near us where dodgy and one tried the swap seats trick on us (they swap you a better seat they don’t own for yours, then wont give it back when the owner comes along, then protest their innocence) so it was uncomfortable for the first 8 hours, with this dude staring at us, as allot seem to do; maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I think an open stare for more than 5 minutes is rude in any culture (I really feel for the female travellers here). Oh yes the army turned up, but they where polite and did not steal any seats this time.

We hit Jodpur and most everyone gets off the train and we meet a few cool travellers. Two of them jump on the top bunk, and then the female is ogled over the top of the bed, by the other people in the carriage for the duration of the trip; I was to tired of it all to say anything, except silently curse to my self and pray for Thailand.

We are now in Jaisalmer and we are staying at the same hotel as a couple of travellers we met on the train. I don’t know if there will be anything mentioning about this town in the future. It is fairly relaxed except the traders REALY go for the hard sale here: we where chased as we left Monica’s, by the chief; we did not like the menu and politely excused our selves, but he insisted his food was great, blah, blah, and after initially being pissed off with this rude guy, we just laughed and went back in to have possibly the worse meal we have had in India! After he swore it was great! they knocked 80RS off our bill, so I wont slag them off to much, as they obviously do take pride in their food (discount plus, upset owner). The dahl which is the most basic dish and staple of the diet here, tasted of pure gee (dairy product L) and I later found out it is standard to use gee in even dahl which I thought was a safe food for me; they don’t have the same issues of factory farming over here (or at least I am telling my self that) so I don’t feel so sick.

We are skipping Varanassi and heading for Dehli, with a day trip to Agra (Taj Mahal) followed by a plane to Thailand J in a few more days. I will have to watch out for the fish sauce instead of the dairy there. My self and Tom want to spend a few weeks chilling out on a beach writing J I have lost the creative urge, but hope to get some productive work done.

End rant.

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