I didn’t like Jaipur. The city was large, polluted and over populated. Largely the Indian people I met there were not nice. Years of tourist groups passing by had taught them bad lessons on how to deal with visitors to their city. I saw two sights. The Jantar Mantar was pretty quirky and strangely compelling. Seeing so many wacky devices to tell the time and measure altitude made for one of the few hours spent well. I will admit though I desperately needed you there Dan to help me make sense of how each device worked. The Indian translated signs just didn’t help much. The main site, the Hawal Mahal had some nice views but they were over Jaipur so that was a let down! After that I pretty much hid away, I really couldn’t be bothered with the city.
Just before my extensive sightseeing I did bump into one local who became my guide. He was a lovely chap up until the point that I became suspicious as to his answers to a few of my questions. Firstly he hesitated momentarily on his subject of study and then said Art. But no one in India studies anything over than engineering, business or computer science (although many never get to touch a computer). Secondly for a man who had a mother as a doctor and a father as a lawyer he seemed to be known by every rickshaw driver. Eventually and much to his dismay, we were friends after all, I bid him farewell. A number of hours later a different guy approached me and used exactly the same starter question. My response sent him running away and me smiling. Maybe I should seek out employment in a detective agency because I had successfully revealed two gem scammers in one day! But the fact was I was incredibly impressed with them. They were so smooth, so sincere and masters at disguising themselves as genuinely nice people. It was easy to see why thousands of people lose thousands of pounds every year to these people.
If there was one redeeming factor to Jaipur it was the food. I had my best thali. I almost had to sit on my plate to stop them serving me more food when I was full. They seemed to enjoy feeding the only tourist until he exploded or had a fire in his mouth. I also had my best curry. It was cooked to perfection with all the loving care and attention you would expect from one man and his cooker in a backstreet restaurant. And then lastly my best lassi. Simply amazing.
Unsurprisingly the bus to Pushkar was tourist heavy. Everyone was unanimous in their dislike of Jaipur. Which whilst pleasing in that I was persuaded that the sights that I had missed was a wise choice, it was also a little bit sad. It would have been nice for one person on that bus to have enjoyed their stay. Half an hour later on the journey, Suzzanne, a Liverpublian noticed the address on a street sign. She turned around and expressed in horror that we were still in Jaipur. Lock the doors, turn off the lights, no one make a sound! It was one of those places.