The Rat Temple and Road Kill

Trip Start May 11, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another desert train took us blissfully to Bikner.  We only came here for one reason..the rat temple.  I am sure you have heard of the temple where Hindus worship because they believe storytellers are reincarnated as rats.
    
    So we had to go.....  but first, Ben and I had to crash another wedding. Actually it was a procession to the brides house that takes place the night before the wedding. It is like a bachelor party where only dudes are invited and only dudes are allowed to dance. I know what you are thinking but hold on.  It really was a wedding party!  

    On a short side note...this is where the soon to be infamous--as in "so famous it will be IN-famous"-- facial hair contest starts. Dan--full beard.....Dave--mustache.   Ben---well, anything his vegetarian, testosterone starved body can produce. (Ben here,  just because people run up to Dave and say "Chewie can I have your autograph" he feels the need to lash out at me.)

    Back to the wedding party. It is always cool to be invited into somebody's party.  Even more so in a foreign country where everything about the party is new and exciting.  I am not bragging, but I am pretty sure my mustache was the reason I was dancing and pretty sure Ben's sparse eleven-hair beard was the reason he was filming...(Ben here, I never agreed to any facial hair contest because I know I can't grow hair but Dave loves himself so I will continue to let him sing his own praises)

   Next morning, we hired the world slowest auto rickshaw(like a tuk-tuk with a lawnmower engine) to drives us 35 km into the desert to the rat temple.  What the hell it was cheap right, and we were stoked to see another must see sight.  Our only concern was that we heard you had to take off your shoes (just like all temples)  No big deal, right? We had 35 kilometers--21 miles--to ponder whether this were to be an issue or not.

   2 1/2  hours later with SQUISHY toes and a smell I will never forget lodged deep in my skull, we knew just how bg of an issue it is.  Rats pee ever 20 steps or so.  They poop nearly as much.  And this temple, which we brilliantly decided to visit just after high noon was filled with thousands of rats...and our bare feet.  Taj mhal--shoe condoms.  Rat temple---nada, zippo, zilch.   Man it was fuckin gross.  Hooper being the big and bad KIWI he is, lasted all of about ten minutes.  

    Ben and I didn't do much better but I did manage to get one of the first in a soon to be long list of many "varee gud luk" signs.   If a rat scampers across your feet, it is meant to be very auspicious.  Well, while I was taking a close up shot (i know, idiot, right) a tiny rat jumped into my hand.   "Varee Lukee" We did see the white rat which really is unique.  Even more unique, his albino qualities meant he was an outcast to the other rats.  So we actually saw a white rat with only one eye left and half an ear chewed off.   "Varee Lukee"

    The brief 21 mile/2 hour ride thru the desert crammed in the back of a tuk-tuk back to town was interrupted only by some type of weird cattle roadkill skinning operation.  We stopped, photoed and still holding our breath and hoping to soon wash our feet, raced--at an alarmingly slow rate--home.    Nothing builds an appetite like roadkill and rat poop, so we went back to a street vendor for the best Masala Dosas in India and got ready for one of the worst bus ride in history.
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