Jodhpur Day 1

Continued from Jaipur Day 4.

First, one photo from last night.

This was my dinner from the hotel restaurant. Yup, the same kitchen that gave me food poisoning. Paneer curry and mixed vegetables.

As expected, I woke up the today not feeling the greatest, again. But I think it’s relatively minor this time.

I’ll be heading to Jodhpur by train today. I am glad to be leaving Jaipur. I didn’t really jive well with Jaipur. I got food poisoning here. The sights that I saw here were all sort of “just ok”. The rickshaw drivers were assholes. As predicted, I didn’t meet anyone here because all the tourists were either old or just nonexistent. But, complaining about being in Jaipur is like complaining about bad sex. At the end of the day, I am still seeing and experiencing amazing things.

I started packing my luggage this morning and took my laundered clothes out of the bag. The hotel laundry service coded my clothes by stitching a string to every item. I had to get a pair of scissors and cut through each one. I do dig this color of green though.

My socks too were stitched together by the pair.

That’s a lot of water for 4 days. Granted, I didn’t finish it all and I took a bottle with me for the train ride.

On the rickshaw. The driver tried to put up a fight, but I wouldn’t have any of it. Fuck you! I am paying 50INR and I am sticking to it. Yeah, that’s right, call me Boss again!

Reached Jaipur Junction Station.

Obviously not doing his job.

Wheeeee!!!! Look at me look at me!!!! This was in the waiting room, which was very nice. It was air conditioned and they even checked my ticket before they would let me in. I was also the only tourist in the entire waiting area.

For the entire hour that I waited here, they had a religious show on TV where this guy sang and his disciples clapped along. Another universal fact. All religious entertainment programmings are really boring.

Got to get some snacks just in case they don’t sell food on the train.

Good Day!

They had some interesting Lay’s flavors here. Lay’s is very popular here.

All the newspaper waiting to be delivered onto the trains.

Not what I like to see. They had a whole train of these cars too….

Train arrives, 20 minutes late.

That’s me. I don’t believe AC 1 Tier is offered on this train.

No individual compartments, but just curtains. There are also the side bunks as well.

AC 1 Tier that I rode on from Delhi to Varanasi is quite a bit nicer than this. The price for AC 1 is about twice as much as AC 2 Tier. There was trash all over the floor here in AC 2. They ran out of clean sheets for the beds so I didn’t get one. Now, I’ve saved the best for last. I saw a small mouse, or mice, running around on the floor on and off for the entire 6 hours of the ride.

Sitting in the same area as me was an Indian family consisting of an older gentleman, his wife and his adult son. They were very unassuming looking, then the son pulls out a Macbook Pro. Yeah, I know how much one of those cost. These people are the elites. Eventually, I struck a conversation with the older gentleman and he’s actually an ex two term member of parliament! He had 1.6 million constituents. His son is a civil engineer(there seems to be civil engineers everywhere in India). What was touching was that I could tell that this older man loved and adored his wife. That itself is not a big deal, except for the fact that he’s of the generation that I am positive his marriage was an arranged marriage.

Slums by the tracks.

Eventually, a guy did come by selling food. There was only one choice, and this was it for 30 INR. Potato curry and naan. Carbs on top of carbs.

I believe these were salt fields.

That looks liked a tiny little fort on top of a tiny little hill.

The guy squatting down is taking a piss just like the guy standing up.

The first two guys finish, and these set of guys take their turn. India, we’ve got more restrooms than the entire world combined.

The entire ride, I saw these weird trees. They looked like their branches were chopped off, and then were starting to sprout again. I wonder what kind of trees these are.

Chai Time on the train. 5 Rupees.

Six hours later, and 30 minutes late, I have reached Jodhpur in the Greater London area. Oh wait, I am still in India, but they ripped off the logo from London Underground.

I was the only tourist in sight. During my walk to the exit, I got approached by several touts who were trying to misdirect me to a different exit. They kept on telling me that I need to go the other way to old town. I just pretended like I didn’t understand English, and kept on walking.

Outside, and found what I am looking for. The prepaid rickshaw booth is at the lower left corner of the photo.

It’s cheap here. I’ll be able to go from here to my hotel for 35INR!! I bet the same trip in Jaipur would have been 60.

My rickshaw had shag carpet seat covers. It was gross, I really didn’t want to sit in it.

This is yet another different type of rickshaw. They were long and narrow with a backward sloping roof. I would say that they are ugly.

Ferrari! Then of course, King Khan.

Streets of Jodhpur.

About to enter old town.

The landmark century old clock tower.

Ahhhh, Yes!!!! Mehrangarh Fort!!!!!!! I am so happy to be here.

Reached my hotel.

This is what $45 a night will get you in Jodhpur. It was a really cool hotel. The building was built in 1847 and those stone pillars are all original and weight bearing.

I can finally take a shower without splashing water over the entire bathroom area!!! By the way, a comment on Indian toilets I’ve encountered so far. They don’t really “flush”. They just splash water into the bowl and nothing get flushed down. None of them work, seriously. The pipes used for the toilets are too big, so there is never enough of a vacuum effect to suck everything down.

I had to go back to the lobby and fill out a check in form. I’ve had to do this at all the hotels, and it’s always the same standardized form. Everything else in India is so free wheeling, but they sure are diligent about filling out this one form.

The wifi here is very slow and not very reliable. The range also sucks. The router is located right above where this photo is taken, and my room is on the first floor right behind the stairs. I have no signal in my room. Sigh. I’ll have to come outside and be mosquito bait to use the internet.

The rooftop restaurant here is actually the number one pick from Lonely Planet.

They call this a lake, I call it a rain water runoff detention pond.

Mehrangarh Fort!!!!!!!

Umaid Bhawan Palace!!!

So, here’s the deal with me and Jodhpur. I believe Jodhpur is actually off the beaten path for most India tourists, but for me it was one of those must see cities, and I have Elizabeth Hurley to thank for this.

Several years back, when all India meant to me was curry and the Taj Mahal, I read a news article about Elizabeth Hurley getting married to some Indian guy(I believe they’ve since divorced). I probably read it in some trashy magazine like Time Magazine. I don’t care about Elizabeth Hurley or the Indian guy, but the article did include a photo of Umaid Bhawan Palace, and it blew me away. Umaid Bhawan Palace is now partially a luxury hotel and it was their wedding venue.

That one photo of Umaid Bhawan Palace made me look it up on Wikipedia, and I was mesmerized. I went from one link to another, exploring virtual India. I saw a photo of Mehrangarh Fort, and I couldn’t believe something like this existed in real life. It looked like it came from a fantasy world just perched majestically on top of a rocky hill. Before this, ignorant me didn’t even know that there were forts in India! I had decided then that if I came to India, I would make Jodhpur my second top priority, after seeing the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Internet stopped working altogether.

But, I don’t give a shit. I am having a beer, sitting on the roof, and staring right at Mehrangarh Fort! It’s magical up here.

Jodhpur is called the blue city because many of the houses here are painted blue. Look! It’s the Mehrangarh Fort!

White Temple.

I forgot to take down the name of the dish, but it’s a chicken curry dish. I had been a vegetarian for about a week now since Varanasi due to lack of meat choices and concerns of food poisoning.

This turned out to be one of the most memorable meals of my life(This is probably on par with my first street side cafe meal in Paris. Yum!). First, I am so happy to be here in Jodhpur after getting sick in Jaipur. The food that I ordered was AMAZING!!! Seriously one of the best curry dishes I’ve had, EVER! It’s not because I haven’t had meat in a week either. The curry base had so much wonderful favor, the chicken was just icing on the cake. There was this gentle instrumental Indian music playing in the background. The beer buzz was working well. I can still hear the occasional rickshaw honking in the far background, just to remind me that I am in India. There’s the Muslim’s call to prayer that can be heard all over town. Then of course, I spent the entire meal looking right at Mehrangarh Fort!

Sidenote: The meal was extremely expensive by Indian standards(well, Mumbai aside). I paid $20(including 3 waters an 1 beer), but it was worth every single Rupee. I would do it again in a heart beat, and I think I just might do that tomorrow.

It was pure bliss sitting here. Blue city during the day is also blue city during the night. Many of the lights that come on at night are of a blue hue.

I went out on the street in search of a faster internet, but was unable to find one with actual fast broadband speed. I did see this crowd huddled around a TV. There was a huge cricket match on tonight, India vs. Pakistan.

Streets of Jodhpur at night. It felt a little bit more laid back than the other places I’ve been to. I am liking this place. I also don’t think I’ll meet any new friends here just because I’ll only be here for two days and there are not many tourists around. With that said, I am super excited to be here.

Eventually, the internet at my hotel started working again at a more acceptable pace. It’s now about as fast as a three toed sloth on steroids.

To be continued at Jodhpur Day 2 Part 1.

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