Waking up to a beautiful blue sky in the desert is a pleasant experience, the cool air on your face and that warm feeling of just being in bed and not wanting to get up. We did get up soon and wandered into town after my very nutritious breakfast of biscuits and chai. You definitely need to have a sweet tooth in India, slowly mine is growing!!!
The route in to town was different and the town had not quite woken up, there was that almost holy quiet that you expect of a sacred place, Pushkar being one of the few places that have a temple dedicated to Brahmin so very sacred. At the hotel I had a traditional Indian shower, i.e. a big bucket of water and a small jug was provided and I had to pour the water over myself. I cheated slightly and asked them to heat up some water so it was not freezing, I really struggle with cold showers. Clean and refreshed I had a lemon tea and the headed into town. On my way a guy, who was about to start his motor bike offered me a lift. I was half suspicious that he would then ask for money, however I'd get to the centre quicker so I risked it. He took me to the gnat and dropped me off, no request for money he just told me that for him it was good karma and wished me a pleasant stay. Slightly surprised and content I entered the gnat. There I was immediately met and escorted to the gnat by a well dressed middle aged man. There he tied on a red wrist band of cotton. Explains that the god was Shiva and I would be blessed and so would my family for a donation of money what ever I wanted $10, $20. Then he asked how much I wanted to donate, where I told him 200 rupees. He then tried to guilt trip me or something saying that. 200 was very little and this was for my family, and kept insisting. This comment made me upset and angry, as i felt the donation is up to me and it is my Karma. His comments completely damaged the moment for me and after giving a 100 rupees for him, so I could escape.
That 20 minutes summed up India for me. One person showed me kindness with a lift on his motor bike and another just wanted to take advantage of me and get money. It annoyed me that I had to be distrusting and suspect the motives of any indian that approached me. I feel I am an open and trusting person. Angry at myself for being conned again and hating India I walked through the market not wanting to look at the stores, temples or anything. Soon. I found myself on the other side of the lake where there were less buildings and therefore it was more peaceful, I sat down by the lake and relaxed a little bit. Moving on I found a cafe and ate some lunch and read and tried to relax.
Carrying on after lunch I arranged an Ayurvedic massage and then visited the Brahmin temple. Still very affected by the events of the morning I was very touchy and on a couple of occasions felt very close to swinging around and punching the motorbike riders who kept beeping to get people out of the way.
The temple was nothing extraordinary in fact it was as most temples in India seem to be dirty and small. Being used to seeing churches and mosques clean and quiet in contrast seeing the chaos and the crowds in the indian temples it shocked me a little and does not seem right.
It was time for my massage so I then had a relaxing therapeutic time, where I calmed down a little more, but not enough to stop beating myself up about being conned and hating India. The masseur gave me some health advice in how to take care of myself which I duly noted down and will start doing when I am back in Barcelona.
Still upset and continuing to torment myself I chatted with Sara who tried to cheer me up with sage advice of one who had been to India, unfortunately she only had limited success and I went to bed feeling nervous and sad, hoping tomorrow would be a better day.