Thus nature balances itself; K’s now having her “day-that-never-was”. In an attempt to get over her debilitating chest infection, she’s spending most of the day in bed. We both had a restless night, but she was coughing hard for a good portion of it, probably keeping half the rest house awake! I hope she feels better soon.
True to the maxim that a good half of the time in India can easily spent engaging in or arranging travel, I set out to get provisions, change money and organise the trip to Udaipur. First I went down through the fort gates to the market and got mandarins, bananas, toilet paper and water. Then I set out again and walked to the nearby Ghandi Chowk (square) and spent some time in a line to change another US$300. The rudeness of the teller in throwing down my money at me caused me to inwardly fume again for a little while.
Caught an auto-rickshaw to the deserted bus station, where the attendant told me there was no bus to Udaipur and we would have to change at Jodhpur. Oh. Over at the train station, I copied down the train times and headed back to the rest house.
Luckily the people here are pretty helpful and they organised the bus ticket for me. I tried to ring the hotel in Udaipur but no luck with the number; I’ll try again tonight.
After checking in on K, I decided to go on a bit of an exploration with my camera, and wandered contentedly through the narrow alleyways of the fort, using up a roll of film. I love the colour of the stone here, contrasting with the occasional brightly-painted doorway. I found myself temporarily trapped in the wide space between the outer wall and the inner wall, which unfortunately seems to have been used for the last who-knows-how-many-years as a convenient rubbish dump and toilet – at times the smell was almost overpowering. I came upon an ancient midden of calcified shit that had been dumped out a high window for possibly hundreds of years. No doubt the locals find it highly amusing that the occasional tourist seems to enjoy picking their way through the local tip/sewer.
Some of the views were spectacular however, and I eventually found myself above the main gates and got back into the fort proper. K came out of the room long enough to have lunch with me on the roof of the hotel, where I stayed to read in the sun for a while when she returned to our room. I’m now there having a rest; as usual, I feel worn out.
Oh yes, last night while eating we talked briefly with two of the guys who work here. One guessed my age at 45 (“only joking”) and said that Indian men with no hair were rich! We told them we had been married for two years; it avoids complications. One of the men’s phrases was “no hurry, no worry, chicken curry.” He’d picked up a bit of rhyming slang from some cockney tourist no doubt!