I feel dirty ALL the time, even after a shower. If I have the nerve to inspect the contents of my Kleenex after blowing my nose, I wonder how I manage to keep breathing at all.
I already have a million photos and don’t seem to have any energy to take another one. All of the Palaces and Forts look the same to me at this point. Our days are rushed and I never seem to have enough time to wander at my own pace. We are either on the bus travelling, or touring with the group. Very little private time to just chill and write or think without people just in front of you or just in back of you.
And it is just day 22.
I had been feeling like this for three or four days — all through our fabulous visit to the Sambhali Trust project (where we met and were entertained by the children and had Turban and Sari competitions with them as well as a tug o war and henna painting), a very fun visit to the blue city (Jodhpur) where we enjoyed a homestay experience and shopping trip in the local market as well as the best lassi thus far and a very special omelet.
As I was writing the first paragraph of this post, we were on our way to Pushkar, which is like a mini Varanasi. A small village on a lake, full of temples and Ghats and holy people and hoards making pilgrimages. Al was managing our expectations and let us know that the hotel that Dragoman usually books, gave away the booked rooms the last trip that booked there, so he was forced to try a new hotel that was more basic but the owners were very interested in the business and hopefully it would be fine. Great, another Ghorakpur. Can’t wait!
But when we drove into town about 3:30, my mood lifted together with the lingering nausea. The hotel was very acceptable and the town was just what we all needed. Yes there were dozens of temples and holy people and Ghats, but more importantly there was a bustling kitchy market, amazing street food tons of hippy looking tourists in tie-die t shirts, long beards and dread locks. For Marc and I, the added extra was that this was a haven for Israelis and signs in most shops were in Hebrew. There were falafel stands all around, and instead of approaching us in English, German or French, the store owners were including Hebrew in their greetings! And all the restaurants had Israeli selections.
We had also learned from Magdalena (the most organized person in the group) that according to the Lonely Planet, The Sun and Moon Cafe served a “special” lassi spiked with Marijuana!
The tides had turned!
This was our last stop before our New Year’s party in Udaipur. We had decided as a group that we should dress up for the party so we were all off to find interesting Bazaar items to wear. I spent $16. on a full outfit which I love and had a pile of fun trying things on and bargaining. Marc of course was not into shopping for himself but was happy to help me with my bargaining and final choices. Then we headed for the Sun and Moon Café to look into the “special” lassi. We discovered that they came in mild medium and strong each priced accordingly. The owner of the shop, a 29 year old woman, explained that she started the restaurant several years ago, and was recommended in the Lonely Planet the first year, and the rest is history (something to do with the special lassis maybe?).
One medium lassi later, we were off to the best-rated Italian restaurant in town where most of our group was waiting. We had a great dinner of Italian food and I later crawled into my sleeping bag in our “basic” accommodations feeling like a new woman! And looking forward to our up and coming New Year celebration in Udaipur!