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Dancing Naked in the Rain – Safe Arrival – Jaipur – Message #8 – Friday, September 16, 2005

on March 25, 2013

Very quick message


I was pretty apprehensive about taking the night train, by myself, from Jodhpur to Jaipur. I ended up in a sleeper compartment with a top bunk and there were four other tourists in the front half of my compartment. However, the remainder of the passengers were men. I still am not accustomed to the male-dominated society that is India. Anyway, my apprehension continued until I arrived in Jaipur and while I did manage to sleep on the train (hello, this is me, I can sleep anywhere!) my sleep was in fits and starts. All this to say that I did arrive safely and that Bollywood movies have instilled in me an irrational fear of India’s railway…then again, maybe this a case of “better safe than sorry”.


So now to what you really want to hear…


Camel ride in Osiyan (can’t believe how many ways I mis-spelled this place) was awesome. Well worth the drive there and the crazy experiences returning to Jodhpur on the “highway” in the dark. I thought highway driving was a challenge for me in Canada…I would NEVER drive in India – highway or otherwise. Having said that, all of my drivers (even taxi and rickshaw, but especially my paid drivers) have been incredible drivers, with super quick reflexes and an uncanny ability to anticipate what other drivers are going to do…must be part of the Hindustani genetic code. Anyway…Osiyan is part of the desert but because of the monsoon season, there is tons of vegetation all around Osiyan, even the sand dunes were covered in greenery. Despite this, the camel ride is something I will not soon forget. There was a steady drizzle throughout the ride, which cooled the desert environment somewhat and it was quite a pleasant evening.


Reetu, Rita – Remember our painful horse riding experiences? Who could forget…anyway, not the case with camels. Highly recommended.


Jumping back to roads/driving…India roads are very bumpy and there is no constant flow of traffic even on the highway. So, next time I complain about roads in Alberta I may think twice…or not. I may have higher standards for home after this.


Dogs in heat…all along the route to Osiyan I saw dogs chasing dogs…no wonder there is such a huge stray dog population in India. I think Bob Barker needs to air his PSAs here…would be a good idea.


Kids in India are so cute…my common refrain. On the way to Osiyan we had quite the crazy weather – lots of rain for portions. In many places along the road (villages and small towns) I witnessed kids taking off their clothes and dancing naked in the rain. What a cool sight! I am discovering that kids here are quite positive and go with the flow. Another good lesson for me – some of the kids have very little and to see them experience pure pleasure and joy from dancing naked in the rain is such a humbling experience for me.


IST – Indian Standard Time is a myth. East Indians and Hindustanis always claim IST to explain why we are always late for everything (I’m usually punctual but the odd time I’m not so I claim my background as the reason for my tardiness). But this is SO NOT true. All of my trains, tours, guides etc have been on time. Any tardiness has been caused solely by me. Hmm, way to break a stereotype.


Singh…I finally found out why most Rajasthanis have “Singh” as part of their name…it is because most Rajasthanis are part of the Rajput (royal) class and in “the olden days” Rajasthan was either ruled by Maharajas (kings) or Maharanas (kings who are warriors). The lion is a symbol of Rajasthan and of the various maharaja/maharana families and in the local language, “Singh” means “courage” which is what a lion signifies. So, having Singh as part of one’s name is a deeply rooted tradition.


My Canadian sensibilities get offended and re-offended every time I see someone pick his/her nose…just happened right now and in between gagging I thought I’d share the experience with you. Ick.


Climbing people who witnessed me camp…I used my first squat facility a few days ago. Too much info but I had to share it. I feel like I am a complete person now. I prefer the European commodes but hey at least I know I can use a squat! And speaking of squatting…most often when I see people sitting (side of road, as they work, as they eat, etc etc) they sit either “Indian style” (cross legged) or in the squat position. I tried that in my hotel room and found it really difficult…again, must be part of the genetic code.


This afternoon I am going to Raj Mandir, Jaipur/Rajasthan’s famous cinema. I am going to watch “Salaam/Namaste” which has been highly promoted here, has some catchy songs and features Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan (a well suited co-star duo). I am super-hyped about this.


Also hoping to visit an Aga Khan Foundation Canada project while I’m in Jaipur…Juli has been organizing this and will hopefully have it arranged by the time she arrives here tonight. Also, we’re staying in a heritage hotel here, too, so another palace experience. This one is not as comfortable as the one in Jodhpur but it is truly beautiful.


See many of you in less than a week…can’t believe my travel adventure is coming to a rapid close. Then again, I am soooo looking forward to washing my hair with Canadian water…and just having a proper shower, washing my clothes NOT by hand, and eating a cheese pizza! Ah simple things.


Okay, signing off…




Turban-wrapping demo in Udaipur

Family of musicians in Udaipur


3 responses to “Dancing Naked in the Rain – Safe Arrival – Jaipur – Message #8 – Friday, September 16, 2005

  1. interesting face hand experience i would really love to do that sometime.

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    I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks.

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