The Pink City

Trip Start Aug 22, 2005
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4
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Trip End Feb 06, 2006


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Flag of India  ,
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We caught a train to Jaipur from Agra on Sunday which took about 4hrs... well technically it took 8hrs because the 6am train was delayed until 10am.. ha ha I love early mornings..! But we had some luck though on the train. After an hour an Indian man got on who sat next to us in the carriage. I was just content staring out of the window at all the buffalo wallowing in the water as we zoomed by (kind of it was about 40km an hr..!).

This guy noticed that a penny had dropped out of my pocket so I gestured to him to pick it up, trying to explain that because he had found it the penny was lucky, so it was therefore his. He didn't speak much English but we ended up talking for a good 3hrs anyway. When we got to our stop he insisted we come and meet his family... and the last few days have been incredible!

We had dinner with the family last night and even accompanied them to this odd little church/prayer meeting. Everything the catholic 'born again' priest said was translated into 'Hinglish' for us (i.e. a mixture of English and Hindi) by this old pastor who had fought for India in WWII& all the hymns were sung in Hindi. I'm still not entirely sure why we even went seeing as the family is Hindu. The whole family seemed content to just watch us- watching tv, eating, at one point I thought they were going to watch us sleep! They were lovely lovely people and I felt so sorry I couldn't communicate with them decently.

We walked around Amber Fort and Jainpath Fort today to see the world's biggest cannon and the world's biggest pieces of silver... The father of the family came with us and we walked about 2 miles uphill in the heat of the midday sun (clever, v clever) I think it was also the world's hottest day. The silver pieces were v interesting though; the Maharaja Madho Singh was an extremely devout Hindu who abided by the caste system. This posed a problem when meeting English non-Hindu dignitaries as he would have to touch them. This is seen by such extremists as a ritual defiling and so the Maharaja would have to bathe in holy water taken from the River Ganges. He once came to England to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday, which meant that he brought 2 silver urns, each weighing 400 kgs and storing about 1500 litres of holy water.

We went back to the family home that evening and the old Catholic pastor was there again. He recounted two of Churchill's speeches word for word, v impressive but to be honest I kind of zoned out, wondering whether I would be punished for not paying attention. I think I was... The Pastor blessed me, right before he gave me food poisoning with his bombay mix...

We still got up at 5am to catch the train to Pushkar but I just wanted to curl up and die really. I should have stayed at the house but the last thing I wanted was for the family to think they had made me sick, so I said it must be the sun and got on the train anyway. I'm just recoveing now! wondering whether making it only a week without getting sick is an ominous sign of me being a super weed!
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