The drive from Jaipur to Pushkar is not long but it is uneventful. It goes on for a while and then after sitting around doing nothing for some time, it is over.
This was a good prelude for what life in Pushkar is like. There’s a lot of sitting around in coffeehouses, drinking their Lassi. It’s quite special as you do get a lot of bhang for your buck. We spent a couple of days of relaxing and lazying around which gave me a lot of time to relax and think.
So I think now is a good time to do a little summary of my thoughts after my first week in India. A lot has happened and I think it will also help me process it all. Let’s start with what I’ve enjoyed so far and what’s gone right.
The things I am enjoying the most so far have been the monuments, the local markets and the normal people. Basically it seems I enjoy any moment when I can forget I’m a big white guy walking around India. It’s great to exchange a smile with a random stranger, take a look at a stall and not get dragged in for a tea and a sales pitch.
I also think that getting a car for this first section has been a good idea so far. We’ve seen a lot more than we would have otherwise and kuldeep is a great driver and guide, though a little stubborn at times. Overall I’m very happy we got him.
The last thing that’s gone very well is my camera/technology setup. Everything is working great and I’ve had no issues so far. The Radpower Filehub works great and I don’t think I’ll ever travel without it again.
Things that I could do without: the constant screams of “Hello, where are you from?” to try and sell you things. Random tuk tuks following you for minutes and strangers “just offering to help” when they clearly have an ulterior motive. It gets old very fast. Also Kuldeep has landed us in a couple of these situations and that was not too appreciated. Though we did end up buying something both times so maybe we did appreciate it?
I also could do without the constant shoes on/off parade. I don’t mind a little barefoot walking but these temples are surrounded by grime and dust and I don’t feel like getting my ugly feet dirty 3 times a day. Also having to leave your bags outside seems ridiculous. I feel very paranoid about leaving my camera anywhere.
Lastly here are a few things that have really surprised me:
- Cows are not so peaceful. We’ve seen our fair share of cows getting annoyed at people and one even went for Esther!
- People here litter a lot!
- Road and speed signs are like short pieces of fiction. They describe an ideal world but nobody can live up to their standards.
- A road will stretch to fit as many vehicles as want to pass by at the same time.
- If a vendor, guide, tuk tuk driver, etc. tells you a place is closed, it is probably open.
These are a few thoughts and impressions from Pushkar. Next stop Agra and the Taj Mahal!!!