Leaving Indore for Jaipur
19.07.2010 - 19.07.2010 30 °C
(WRITTEN BY HEPZI) What a relief it is to leave the filth and pollution of Indore, I don’t think for a while I have been happier. People say that Jaipur is beautiful and I really can’t wait. The train journey will be the longest journey so far. We had to get up at 5.45am to make sure that we caught the train at 6.20am the journey would take a total 10 hours. People along the way seemed a lot friendlier with wanting to know where we or I should say Ollie is from. (Men especially do not speak to women directly if addressing the both of us together then we are called Sir) This can sometimes be quite frustrating as you feel ignored and undermined but a good thing when beggars or street kids try to hassle us as Oly has to bear the brunt of it whilst I’m able to walk on ahead!
The 10 hour train journey encouraged banter from the kids in our carriage as they wanted to listen to the English music on my iPod and as Oly listened to the boy’s iPod we exchanged food and tried to understand each other. The 10 hour journey also encouraged unwanted attention from a young 24 year old training to be a dentist whom I thought whilst we were having a friendly conversation was filming me with his camera mobile phone as he held it all the time in front of my face whilst Oly was standing by the train door listening to his iPod starring out at the countryside. My conversation ended quite abruptly with him when he started asking about mine and Ollie’s relationship, I had told him we were engaged (I have learnt now to say we are married!) he then went onto asking if I had a physical relationship and how many people with. For the rest of the five hours I had to sit within a metre of him, I made sure I kept myself busy listening to my iPod or reading a book always making sure Ollie was there from that point on.
Along the journey the temperature certainly rose higher and the air was more humid, the land became less fertile and green and more barren. As we arrived into Jaipur my initial reaction was “not another city!” we were greeted by more dirt and more people showing us their bare bums along the tracks as the train drove by. The cities train station gave us the same impression that every other station gave.
We arrived at the Hotel Pearl Palace chosen from the guide book, it looked very pink but also immaculate and nicely decorated compared to any other hotel we had seen within our budget, unfortunately the hotel was completed booked with travellers from all over the world as the hotel was extremely popular with westerners whom after the last couple of days we were desperate to meet. We ended up staying at the hotel opposite which was pleasant and clean a real effort had been made to look presentable and welcoming. As we booked into our room me and Ollie were looking at each other with the same thought “please be a clean room,” we were relieved and delighted, the room was massive with air con and best of all fresh unused sheets. (The bathroom also has hot water but I didn’t work that out until the day we left.) We decided we would maybe stay here for a day or two.
(Ollie) Once we became settled I took it upon myself to find some beers, I walked out to the road where you can find many a rickshaw driver waiting to provide their services. I went with the driver for about 5 minutes before ending up at a dusty little shop raised above the road. The shop was about the size of a small garage and had iron steps which you had to climb from the road before reaching the counter. I ordered 4 Kingfisher Strong and a bottle of red wine for Hepzi, however when getting the bill I decided to leave the wine as it cost around £18 being that it was imported. I headed back to the hotel with my driver Mirrage who explained to me that his “good friend” was opening a silver shop in the evening and he would be greatly appreciative if Hepzi and I would pop along to the opening to make up the numbers, I told Mirrage that I would speak to Hepzi and let him know.
After finishing the beers, Hepzi and I made our way to the street where Mirrage was waiting to take us to the grand opening of his friends shop. Hepzi and I jumped in and off we went, we made our way through the busy street waiting in anticipation as to what exactly the opening event would be like. As we pulled off the nicer streets and started making our way through the back roads; I started to get a little worried about what we may have gotten ourselves into. We arrived at a little shop of the main road in an unlit area and both noticed the sign to the new shop looking rather old and tatty. As we made our way into the silver shop I noticed the strong smell of fresh paint and lots of wall mounted glass fronted cabinets which were all empty with the silver still in boxes waiting to be unpacked. The guys in the shop offered us drinks and then proceeded to show off the fine handmade specimens. It was about then when I came to the conclusion that the whole affair was a scam, with Hepzi holding a heavy solid silver necklace with a 10,000INR price tag which was actually silver plated at best . The chairs all had plastic covers on them to make them look new, however under closer inspection you could see the chairs were worn, most likely from many unsuspecting tourist that had been there before. We politely offered to pay for the drinks and said that we would sleep on it before making a decision. Hepzi played along making it look as though she really wanted the necklace which made our exit a little easier. A poor American didn’t see that it was a scam and bought quite a few things for his Sister and Mum.