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Travel Stories from India

From the romance of the Taj Mahal, my next destination is the city of Jaipur, also known as the pink city, referring to the buildings inside the old city near the palace which were once all a beautiful pink. Nowadays stand a dirty shade of orange. Like most cities in the state of Rajasthan, the city is full of historical palaces, grand sprawling old forts, night bazars and street markets. Top on the list of things to see here is the city palace.

At times, the constant need to negotiate prices for these rides would get on my nerves.¬† Add the host of scams these drivers do so well, and the hot climate, and you have a recipe for stress. It’s hard to distinguish between overly nice and helpful drivers, or cash raping thieves. 90% of the time its the former. People in India are by and large the nicest and most chatty people on earth. But on this occasion, I almost loose it. I book my departing bus to the next city of Jodhpur in the local bus station. I’m redirected from counter to counter for a while. Queuing unneccesarily for 20 minutes just to be ushered with a flapping of the wrists from the rude fat man that waits behind the glass panel. I eventually book my ticket for 9pm that night. As the day progresses I get to enjoy the wonderful Jantar Mantar observatory, ¬†Hawa Mahal and the many tasty places to eat along the way. As night falls I notice my bus ticket states 9am, not pm. Uh oh..

JodhpurI travel back to the bus station, and begin to explain the situation to a new fat man behind the counter. Two hours later, I’m close to tears. I’ve lost my patience that I’d bottled up for many weeks. I barge myself against the inspectors door, demanding a ticket for tonights bus. No one is sympathetic. In fairness I should have inspected the ticket as soon as it was issued. But in my defense the way I was treated was more of an issue than anything else. It was nonsense. Angry traveller!!!

After they realized the seriousness in my aggressive protest, they finally budged (after many conversations with what looked like 20 or so bus staff) and I’m once again on a rocking rolling bus journey to the blue city of Jodhpur.

Much more picturesque in architecture and layout, the blue city of Jodhpur sprawls far and wide with the magnificient Mehrangarh Fort overlooking the vast city (the most impressive of all the forts in India). I eat with the famous Omelete man, who claims to produce the best omeletes in the world from a 5 foots shack on the side of the road. Later that day however Jodhpur becomes a real pain in my ass…literally.

Did I mention the abudance of cows in the streets of India? Well in most cases, they are to be ignored. But every once and a while you’ll cross paths with a bull like cow whos having a bad day. As I spotted it ahead of me, I chuckled to myself as it makes a start on a passerby. He avoids it, but I’m not so lucky. The horns of the cows, now deep up my arse, rips my shorts, lifting me high off the ground. Angry cow!!!