It has been over a week since our last update, and in that time we have been to a lot of different places. We saw in the Jewish New Year in Pushkar, played board games on the balcony in Udaipur, whilst the heavens opened and torrents of rain fell all around us. We also spent 23 hours on buses to get to Aurangabad, and visited Ellora Caves, a place of stunning beauty, where temples and homes have been carved out of cliffs.
But aside from all that, some funny things have happened as well, and that’s what we’ll talk about this time.
So, when it rains in India everything sort of stops working. Normally you might expect a power cut in bad weather, but in a surprisingly counterintuitive fashion, whilst water was falling from the sky, it stopped coming out of the shower. Jade had put a ridiculous amount of soap on herself in an attempt to shift some of the day’s grime. Just as she was ready to rinse it all off (honestly, who soaps their whole body in one go?) the water cut off and despite our best efforts we could not get it back on. Jamie went to the reception and was reassured that it would only be ’15 minutes’. Whilst we appreciated their optimism this turned out to not be the case and in the end we resorted to throwing the contents of a cold bottle of water at Jade in an attempt to shift some of the bubbles. Shortly after Jade’s cold bottle shower the water came back on and Jamie was able to enjoy a lovely warm shower.
Pepperoni Pizza Surprise
After 3 weeks of living an essentially vegetarian existence, we were both craving a bit more meat in our lives. After a bit of hunting we were able to find a restaurant that was offering Pepperoni pizza, needless to say we were unable to resist such a mouth-watering feast. We happily ordered our food from the friendly waiter and awaited our meaty delight. Upon being served our ‘Pepperoni’ pizza it became obvious that there was not even a hint of meat in sight, which at this point nearly broke us. We had a closer look at the menu and discovered that, to our horror, they had indeed been true to their word; however the Indian interpretation of Pepperoni pizza is that it has peppers on it, and not the long dreamed about spicy sausage. Heartbroken…
Man’s best friend (sort of…)
In Udaipur, during a break between downpours we decided to go for a stroll around a nearby lake. Usually when we go out we are inundated with inquisitive locals who wish to be our friends, if only for 5 minutes. This time was no different, however instead of friends on two legs we made a friend of a three legged dog. He followed us along the entire length of the lake, and in return for his loyalty we assisted him with keeping a disgruntled dog pack at bay whilst he hobbled through their turf. We stopped off at an outside bar to grab a drink and take a break from the rain; he insisted on joining us and we were only too happy to oblige, with him dozing by Jamie’s feet. At this point we knew we were going to be friends for life and were on the verge of sharing an Oreo cookie with him. No sooner had we made this huge decision to commit our resources to our friend of 50 minutes, than we turn round and see he was off making friends elsewhere, and we were left disheartened and alone, regretting that we had ever opened our hearts to the three legged rogue.
After our earlier Pepperoni incident, Jade was excited beyond words when she stumbled across a non-vegetarian menu, and her smile only grew brighter when she discovered they would deliver! We opted for a Chicken Bhuna, as back home it is a relatively mild, but tasty dish; it promised to be a great end to our enforced veg diet. It arrived quickly and we dished it up with the rice and garlic potatoes we had prepared ourselves. Jamie was so excited that he ladled the sauce over every inch of his plate, leaving no morsel bare. As we both tucked in it became immediately apparent that this was a few levels up the heat scale from our UK equivalent, but none the less we persevered. Fast forward 5 minutes and we were both sweating profusely (Jade was complaining about some sort of sweaty upper lip?), with our noses running and breathing heavily between mouthfuls. Water was of little help in this situation, but as our food was covered by this molten lava like sauce we had no choice but to power on. Having finished our meal and cleaned ourselves up a bit we were both feeling a tad ashamed that a humble Bhuna had done this to us. But upon asking our hostel host, he assured us we had picked quite a spicy dish, something he had failed to mention whilst ordering it for us. Aside from this, the food was great and after a few weeks to forget the sweats we’d probably go back for more.
The End of the World
There are few things more important than a good night’s rest before starting, at 6:00am, a monster 23 hour journey on Indian buses. We packed our bags the night before and showered to give us a quick start in the morning, and then got our heads down. No sooner had our heads hit the pillow, a deep rumbling reverberated around the room. Initially we thought it was just the start of another thunderstorm, but sadly we were mistaken, it was in fact The End of the World! As it turned out the end of the world looks a lot like a chubby Indian man, half hanging out of his bunk, snoring so loudly that it could have awoken the dead. Our first tactic was to cover up the noise. We both popped our earphones in, knocked the volume up to 10 and attempted to sleep, and sleep we did, for 30 minutes… Whilst we were grabbing a few brief moments of shuteye, our Indian friend redoubled his efforts to reach levels of noise previously thought impossible, which woke us both back up, in spite of our music still playing. Jamie initially opted for a subtle approach to dealing with the problem. He walked quietly over to the toilet, but in such a way that his leg would catch on Snorzilla’s outstretched arm, in the hopes that this would wake the sleeping giant and end our nightmare. This did not work, and he slept on. On the return journey, a not so subtle approach was employed and Jamie gave him a swift kick in the arm; still no response. One final effort was made, where Jamie grabbed the man’s shoulder, followed by his leg and shook him vigorously, to no avail, all the while being taunted in his defeat by the unending growls coming from Indian man’s nasal cavity. Disheartened by the lack of response we had no choice but to leave the room and sleep elsewhere. As we were leaving we noticed that 3 (Not including Sir Snores-a-lot), of our 4 other roommates were also red eyed and wide awake, wishing for a swift release from this plague of sound. In the morning, feeling not so fresh, we went back down to our room to find that we had not been the only ones that had been forced to abandon our beds, and that the sleeping behemoth still slumbered on. 1-0 to Snorzilla.
French/Canadian Rickshaw Ride
Every time we get a rickshaw it always descends in to a battle of wills over the price, all in an attempt to not get ripped off by the drivers who can sense a tourist coming a mile away. However in Udaipur we experienced quite the opposite. We met a French man and a Canadian women who had bought their own rickshaw, and were now meandering through India. Upon having a chat with them we discovered that we were all heading in to town to see the same sights, as well as visit a local bazaar, and they were only too happy to give us a lift. Although the French man had mastered the art of Indian driving (that is, to pretend that you are the only person on the road) it was still somewhat of a scary experience as he liked to take corners as if he were a F1 driver, not something easily done it a 3 wheeled, heavily loaded vehicle; having said that, we had a lovely day spent with our new friend. Thanks to their generosity were able to get around to see a lot of the local attractions, and despite our offers, it cost us nothing in the process.
Jamie going native
One of the first things we talked about upon arriving in India was Jade going native; how she had (understandably) mistaken a shower in Delhi Airport for an Indian toilet, and used it accordingly, much to the amusement of Jamie. Well, 3 ½ weeks in, the tables have finally turned. Everywhere in India you see people, mostly men to be fair, urinating in the streets. Whilst initially this was quite shocking it has now become the norm, so much so that Jamie thought he would get in on the action. With a toilet nowhere in sight and an urge that could not be supressed through strength of mind alone, Jamie joined the masses and pissed (sorry for the rude word parents) at the side of an incredibly busy street… and to be honest, he does not regret it in the slightest!
Having endured another bus (this time 18 hours!) we are now in Goa for the next few days, and in between downpours hope to spend a bit of time on the beach.
Bye for now,
Jade and Jamie