namasday from india!!!
so India, where to start!!! it is so diverse in every sense of the word!
mumbai.....first stop, i spent a day getting to know my surroundings visiting the places recommended by the lonely planet, watched some locals playing cricket on the only green area i saw in mumbai (they gave me a plastic chair to sit on to watch which prior to me sitting on was being used as their wicket..... they substituted the chair for rocks!!!) i made sure i stayed and watched for a good while, felt like lady muck!
lots of people approached me as is a common theme in india, especially guys, who want to "practice their english", gawp at a white girl or try and conn you into something! my first impression of the people in mumbai, well of te guys is that they all lie or wanted something! i really am not generalising here...but i know its cos i was right in the centre! was going to try and get myself in a bollywood film as an extra, which would have been easy to do, but then after hearing how ur treated like an animal, i decided against!
mumbai is known for its nightlife and so i went out for the night...in style. 2 of the girls i was hanging out with from my hostel were with me when we got chatting to two indian guys who live in america now but are working in mumbai for a month....they had a driver who took them round in a mercedes and this night us too....to a swanky club where they paid for us to get in and for our drinks before we all hung out at their apartment dancing to music and watching the sunrise!!! was quality!
delhi.... got there by overnight train, and made a travel companion in another american man who was in the same bay as me, so journey passed a little quicker!!
once in delhi i was confronted with a mass of taxi drivers, tuk tuk drivers hounding me but walked past then to the main bazaar where i stayed which was a chaotic street of street sellers, traffic..including cows!! it smells too...real bad and its not surprising when u see people just weeing on the street! nice! lots of beggars here, all trying to get money from you, combined with the sellers trying there best to get ur attention in any form possible... on lady liked to spit! oh i didn't mention the noise..traffic system works on people blasting their horns to tell the car/bus/taxi/bike.tuktuk that they're coming through....there is no highway code....so it gets pretty noisy as u can imagine!!
spent a few days in delhi, doing some sight seeing, including the gandhi memorial and museum which i found most interesting, a cool lotus shaped temple for quiet prayer and meditation for all faiths, historical buildings like the red fort, huamanyans tomb and some shopping time!! i met up with the guy from the train a few times for drinks and also with emily, a girl i met in laos for a brief 10 minutes!! was cool seeing familiar faces and the 3 of us went to see a dances of india show followed by a nice indian meal on my last night in delhi.
next.....headed to jaisalmer, flew to jodhpur and experienced my first sand storm as i got off the plane and then booked night train to jaisalmer. in the mean time i had 9 hours to kill i stumbled across the goving hotel where i met jaggi, the owner, who i love!!! he was so kind to me and treated me like a daughter, we had some good conersations about indian culture, he helped me sort out a good place to stay in jaisalmer, a camel safari in company (as if not it would have just been me and the guide in the desert for the night!!), let me hang out in his hotel until my train at 11pm and then on top of that.... he phoned to check i was being treated well whilst i was in jaisalmer.
in return he expected nothing, but obviously on my return through jodhpur i stayed at his hotel....somewhere i felt so safe and comfortable and room was cool too...had a tv and i got to watch happy feet! oh yes!!!
anyway before i returned back to jodhpur....jaisalmer! its a beautiful desert town, camel coloured buildings with lots of intricate detail, a quaint place and in the desert! i arrived, put my bags down and left to meet my camel! i was with a chinese guy xin, who was lovely guy, and we had a guide between us, who led the way and cooked from the most basic ingredients on a fire he made in the middle of the desert! camel ride was awesome, i love how the camels sit down and stand up, enjoyed trekking through the desert...so surreal...this is normal life for desert people!!! it makes you feel like u've gone back in time until you hear a mobile ring!! made me laugh every time.... signal in the desert (its actually because the military train in the desert in the winter and its only been in the past year and a half that they've had mobiles!!).
i promise never to complain "i've never been this hot" now i've experienced 40oC in the desert! i drank so much water, in the middle of the day, we were all so saturated by the heat, we all just dozed under a tree in the shade til it was cooler to get back on the camel! night time we slept under the stars... and in the distance we could hear villages playing the tablas (drums) and we were also fortunate enough to see a thunder storm, but experience no rain! a free sound and light show...such ambience in the desert setting! stoem did mean it was hard to sleep though..i'm not complaining..it was cool!!!
next morning, we had breakfast, toast and mango's. fruit never tasted so good as it does in the desert... so juicy and well received! unfortunately a day was cut short as xin fell off his camel and was concussed! first aid sarah to the rescue! just call me medicine woman, i made sure he was alright and we got some antiseptic cream from the resident desert doctor before i took him back to my hotel where i let him have my room to rest and get showered. i spent rest of my day out the way, once i knew he had his memory back and was back in the land of living...visited the lake and fort and did a little window shopping!
this evening was when i headed back to jodhpur... where i spent the day visiting the fort, palace and old market before happy feet viewing!!
now we're upto speed to today where i got the morning bus to mount abu! a 6-7 hour journey, i enjoyed the scenery of the passing towns, saw several people pooing in the street and then had nice views as we approached mount abu. its obviously a mountain, lots of plam trees, lush greenery, wild monkeys, people on horses, cows roaming the street, a beautiful lake and one white girl named sarah...who seems a greater attraction to stare at!! really should be getting used to being stared at by now and people asking for photos....but its still weird, as the poeple stare at you, with no expression, no shame, no blinking...just staring for what seems forever, regardless of if i smile back or scowl!!! ha ha!! made myself laugh when i thought about it early...theres monkeys, cows and horses on the street, nop-one is bothered..but white skin, stop look!! quite different to england!!
tomorrow going to take in sights of mt.abu before i head to a few more cities and leave the taj mahal and my last finale to my trip before coming home in less than 2 weeks!
i realise i sound negative in my portrayal of india.... its so diverse that i love it, but also hate parts of it!! ilove the chai tea....am going to have some now before i read my book and go to bed!! take care and i'll be home sweet home v.soon! x x