Orchha: “Hello Auntie!”

It is the place where I finished my first ever sock. In a restaurant where rats ran in and out of the kitchen, jumping off shelves and around jars, causing a French woman to feed her dinner to a passing street dog and say to the owner “You should beeee ashaaaaaamed of your restauran’, eeet eeeez full of rats!” before storming out.

Agra (Taj Mahal): “A teardrop on the face of eternity”

The Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore called the Taj Mahal “A teardrop on the face of eternity” according to my trusty Lonely Planet. Which leaves me feeling that nothing I say can really better that. Still I’ll give it a go…

Jaisalmer (Thar Desert): “In the morning we go to meet your camel.”

I was first introduced to my camel as Michael Jackson (the camel’s name, not mine), but I later found out that his real name was Rallu. A much more camel-sounding name if you ask me.

Jaisalmer: “Oh… It go ice.”

It is clear to me that the waiter has the power to freeze water at will, and that sometimes, maybe when he has spilled birayani down a customer who would have been a big tipper, or a cow gouged at him on the way to work because he looked at it funny, he loses control of his power and ends up showing it to us mere mortals in the form of sudden soft drink freezing.

Jodhpur: “Excuuuuse me, ma’am! You know what is wool?”

At one point, a bit yarn hungry by now, I happened upon a dusty bag of nasty pink acrylic wool. A small boy leapt from the shadows of the shop, “Excuuuuse me, ma’am! You know what is wool?” he demanded. I did know what is wool. That wasn’t wool.

Udaipur: “Are you jamisponding me?”

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.

Rishikesh: Himalaya-side Knitting

It’s sort of chilly up here with the Himalayas peering down your neck, so it makes sense there should be knitted goodies all over the shop. I am most impressed by many-coloured two-toed socks which seem to have been fashioned for aliens.

Aurangabad to Dehli: “What are you weaving?”

“Don’t worry. The cockroaches won’t hurt you.” by a smiling be-turbaned Sikh youth as I got warily into bed.