Writing from: Pushkar (insert camel joke here)
Jaipur, the pink city. Jaipur, the pinkish city. Well, sort of a reddy orangey pink. Jaipur, the reddy orangey pink city.
Worth a couple of days to wander around. Watch out for sunset monkeys. A fewJaipur memories:
A boy, cycling fast on a very old bike, putting his hand out to stroke the back of a meandering cow as he shot past it.
An army of monkeys marching down three sides of a narrow alleyway, their tails waving like banners of victory behind them.
Two mud-black pigs caught snuffling through the worst smelling rubbish in a tiny side street, one turning its too-pink nose to pose for the camera.
Urgent cheerful hollers from who knows where until we located a small girl waving and smiling from a first floor window.
A uniformed brass band taking a break in the shade. Happy to be in a photo with M, where they insisted I wait while they put a hat on him and handed him the silver trumpet to pose with.
A mother touching the front of a shrine with her hand, then the head of her chubby-kneed baby to pass on the blessing.
Four ladies sat on the floor of a fabric shop sewing sequins on the twinkling bolt of dark pink cloth across their legs and chattering in true S&B style.
Our cycle rickshaw driver who insisted we call him Happy, who crawled along the kerb for a good 20 minutes in blistering midday sunshine until we relented and hired him for the afternoon.
The view from the top of Jaipur’s tallest tower, for a mere 10 Rps.
Jantur Mantur – a scientific space of shadows, angles, and sunlight, where structures show the position of stars, planets, and the rest of the heavens. Feeling small and stupid in the shadow of a scientific instrument built in 1728 that clearly knows more about the universe than you do.
Escaping to the safety of the kerb when a police car gently crumpled the wheel of the cycle rickshaw we were in (the driver getting a good wad of notes from both the driver and a very kind M, to make up for his mangled livelihood).
Keeping in a “Hah!” of laughter in when an autorickshaw driver told me I looked like Angelina Jolie, and proceeded to call us Mr and Mrs Smith all day.
Keeping in gasps of horror as his assurance that “This is not an autorickshaw. It is my Ferrari” and the fact that “Your driver is 007. Soon we go in water, then come out and drive down the wall of the Amber fort!” was backed up by him driving like he really was 007 and was escaping with the precious microfilm.
Deciding that however sinewy and do-this-every day cycle rickshaw drivers clearly are, I am still a fat Western pig and will never feel less guilty for their straining efforts as they pull us up inclines, despite the fact I know this is how they earn their living.
The tiny birds, single chipmunk, mice, turtle doves, geckos, and occasional house rat that joined us in the courtyard garden of Devi Newas Guesthouse as we ate breakfast.
The cool white-yellow of the Amber Fort, just outside Jaipur (which was begun back in 1592 by Maharajah Man Singh, for those who like to know these things), in the awesome midday heat.
Many photos I know. Gawd bless me camera phone.