There is really only one thing about Udaipur that people go there for as far as I can tell. A shaken but not stirred thing that is regularly viewed with golden eyes and pointed out with gold fingers, and… oh hell, I cannot be bothered with anymore James Bond hints. You get the idea.
So yes. I saw the famous lake palace. It was very pretty. M and I shared a ridiculouly expensive beer on the City Palace’s sunset terrace (it cost nearly as much as a London beer. Outrageous!), and watched the sun set over the undulating hills behind the famed lake palace, which sits in the water pompously sparkling in underwater uplighting, observing you over its whitewashed shoulders for the maggots you are, saying “IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII was in a James Bond film, don’t you know?”.
Here you are:
If you can guess which Bond film it was in I shall make you a fine cup of masala chai when I get home. Promise.
Here’s a clue (and an insight into the James Bond fever that is Udaipur):
In other news I have been subject to the wibbly wobbly world that is the Indian postal service. Here is how it works.
Basically to post a letter here you travel back in time to the days before things were speedy fast and all done in a keystroke. You must arm yourself with a few things before you get into the time machine though. A needle, some thread, some fabric, a candle, some wax, a mysterious magic seal, three forms on which you must write exactly the same details, and the patience of a posting saint.
An Indian parcel has to be dressed in the finest white cotton to make it beautiful, and to make sure it soaks up as much water as possible on its way to where it is going. My parcel was sewn by a tailor who was fascinated by M’s “not Indian” blue eyes. It cost more to sew than the contents cost to buy…
M’s parcel was sewn by a man in the post office. It took him nearly an hour with a needle and thread. He was a very thorough man.
He then got out candle and some sealing wax and carefully sealed every single seam. Voila.
While he sewed and sealed the parcel we entertained entire queues of Indians on the other side of the post office counter (tourists with air parcels go through the back door, for some reason), who peered at us through the glass (I suddenly vaguely knew how zoo animals felt, and made a mental note to stop scratching my fleas and to swing quietly on my tire swing till feeding time).
We emerged blinking into the outside post office sunshine of present day India. Two hours later. Two hours. TWO HOURS.
So there is Udaipur for jamisponded for you, and for us. A couple of pics of the bits that didn’t make my brain melt…