Trip Start Feb 28, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hello from Ahmadabad!
It's been a little while since i last updated my blog, so here we go; After Jailsalmer the next stop was Udaipur, which was really good. It's a nice city around a big lake, with a couple of nice castles in it. Oh, wait, Hold on, this is for the person sitting next to me; CAN YOU READ IT OR SHOULD I USE CAPS??? Sorry, i'm sitting in an internet cafe, and i have this annoying indian guy sitting next to me, following every move i make.. Privacy is second to none-existing here in India, which at times really sucks...Ok, this did work, no more spying now :)
But where were we, oh yes, Udaipur! In 1983 they shot a rather large part of the James Bond movie Octopussy here. You can't go around this fact, since 80 procent of all hotels and guesthouses will play it every night in their restaurant.
First night i stayed in a rather boring hotel, so next morning i made my way to the Lal Gat paying guesthouse, which was way nicer, with a really good view over the lake. There were a couple of nice english guys, some dutchies, the food was good, the bad was clean and comfy, there was a nice firework display every night, and there were some decent fishies swimming in the lake, which meant fishing could be done!! For the ones who don't know about this travel-hobby; i love my fishing once i'm abroad; back home i don't care much about it, but here you can catch some crazy looking/ massive sized fish :) I think i spend 3 or 4 days trying to catch a decent one from the lake, since the locals were pulling out some impressive fish with very limited fishing gear. So there i was, at the lakeside, with my abnormally sophisticated fishing equipment (for indian standards) like rod, reel, good hooks, decent line and sinkers...well, you probably feel it coming already;  the results from my attempts were pathetic! Caught about 5 or 6 small critters, but no serious fish. Guess i have to wait till i hit the ocean again, there i'll try to catch a shark or 2 :)
After my dissapointing fishing results i decided to head to Mumbai, with a stopover at Ahmadebad. Arrived here this afternoon in this crazy, overly populated city. You can't really go out on the street without watching your back all the time. Not because of criminals, but there is so many traffic and roadrage on the street; it's just insane. Nobody sticks to the normals rules of behaving decent whilst driving, it's just survival of the fittest or craziest over here.. Another nice side effect is the pollution caused buy all the 2 stroke and worn out engines. I think even when i'm a non- smoker I can now light a sigarette and smoke it straight over my lungs, since there must be so much crap in there by now that i don't even feel the smoke of the sigarette. This is going to be a major problem in the near future of india, i'm sure. 
This afternoon i also tried some Iranian food for the first time in my life, which wasn't a big succes. I tried buttermilk, which looked dodgy and tasted even worse, and some mild curry. Well if this was mild, i wonder what spicey means to them..(had tears in my eyes, snot running out of my nose, and sweat on my forehead) 
Oh, and yes, before i forget; finally managed to succesfully counter a scam in the form of a rickshaw-driver, which felt really good!! Just got to share the story! This guy picked me up from the bus stand, and brought me to my hotel. Normally you agree a price beforehand, but this one had a taxi meter. On my map the hotel was only 2 kilometres away, but i sat on this rickshaw for almost 15 minutes when i asked him where the hell we were going..He became a bit cranky, trying to give me a bad feeling about not trusting him. When we finally arrived he asked a whopping 118 rupees, which i thought was ridiculous. So i unloaded my backpack, and made my way into the hotel, with the angry rickshaw driver on my tail... Once at the reception i asked the hotel owner how much i should pay him, and he told me no more then 70, instead of 118. (It turned out that this rickshaw driver drove me all around the city before he dropped me at the hotel, with a big bill as a result.) My thought: "Well, that's your loss mate, i didn't ask for a sigtseeing tour!" So gave him 70, and told him to get f*cked. (by this time we really weren't friends any more) He said it wasn't enough, so as a result i was getting so angry that i was about to give him a good kick up the ass with one of my army boots.... (If you look back at it now it's a bit funny, because we were almost in a fight for not even 1 dollar, but after being ripped off over and over again for the last month, it was now pay back time!) Normally i'm a peaceful guy, not the one who starts a fight or a riot, but a combination of the temperature & the long trip on a rotten old bus didn't really have a positive influence on my mood either.. :) At last the idiot saw that i was ready to launch him off his feet, and so he decided to take his loss, and finally went away. Ha! Victory! :)  

Ok, that's all for now, going to Mumbai tomorrow, so more stories coming up :)  Keep smiling, all the best, vincent
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