Trip Start Sep 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 10, 2012

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Where I stayed
The Kishan Palace

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

 Wake at 4.30am to get ready to catch the train to Pushkar.  First thing Fred does is wish me happy birthday and hand me a card that he had written a verse in himself.  I'd like to share that with you. 

  Birthdays come, birthdays go 
 But one in India - Anything goes 
 You go for everything 
 You give it your lot
  But unfortunately for you, you got the trots
  But Hey !!! What does it matter
  It will all pan out 
 On this special day, after one more clearout 
 So my Darling, so my love 
 You will always be my turtle dove.
  Fred can be such a romantic old Muppet! 
  At 5.30am 5 Kamakazie auto-rickshaw drivers turned up to take us to the station.  Only one of them was using headlights.  We had a 20 minute white knuckle ride in the dark with several close encounters on the way.  We asked our driver why he wasn't using his head lights?  He said  "No need after 5.30am".   I said, "But it's pitch black".  He said "Yes, but it will be light soon".  There is no answer to that - something to do with Indian logic

  It's always madness when you board the train.  You can buy a seat with a designated number or you can pay less and hope that you manage to get a seat and don't have to stand for 6 hrs.  For the first 3 hrs we were very lucky, we had spare seats across from us, so we were able to spread out a bit.  Behind us were kids from a boys school & girls school.  The girls were about 12yrs old, and they behaved just like any other young girls from any other country around the world - they never stopped singing, clapping, laughing, or all talking at once.   In fact, the noise on the train was almost deafening, but never lacking atmosphere, as one little drama after the other played itself out.  

  Gradually the train started to fill up and we were confined to our own seats.   A family moved in across from us and I have never seen so much stuff packed into such a small area - it was literally everything but the kitchen sink!  They must have fannied around for a good hour arranging and re-arranging stuff.  The wife just got settled when along came the conductor. The husband stood up and invited the conductor to sit down while he checked their tickets, and next minute the wife slaps a bowl of rice on the conductors lap, ladles in a bit of curry and hands him some Nan!  All this happens very quickly and unexpectedly for the conductor who is now having lunch - whether he wanted it or not!  With every mouthful of rice he eats the wife replenishes his bowl with more.  After 10 mins he manages to stand up and make his exit. His uniform looked quite smart when he sat down, but not any more, he had grains of rice all over him and a bit of a food- slide going on down his jacket.  While all this was taking place, the husband had taken himself off,  when he returned, and whilst his wife's back was turned, a very cute little old man (who strongly resembled Ghandi)  had sat in the husband's place.  The husband was trying to explain to Mr Ghandi that he had taken his seat.  Or was it his seat?  Was the feeding of the conductor a diversionary ploy?  Anyway Mr Ghandi had his own tactics, he kept smiling and wobbling his head in a way that only Indians can do, and all the while not saying a word.  In the end the husband threw in the towel, he had met his match.  Well done Mr Ghandi, seat rage avoided.

   We weren't too far into our train journey before Fred had made 2 new besties.   A couple of young lads about 18yrs old wanted to talk to him, then they asked if they could take his photo as they thought he had a distinguished face.  Fred was only to happy to oblige.  I stood up to go for a little walk and stretch my legs, and suddenly I was besieged by the little girls behind us.  They wanted to feed me and ask me questions, the only problem was they were all doing it at the same time.  I spent the rest of the journey talking to them. They were on their way to a softball tournament and it was a big day out for them. They were delightful, they just chatted non stop.  When we left the train at Pushkar they gave us the biggest noisiest goodbye ever, 14 beautiful smiling faces waving us off the train.

   We arrived at the Kishan Palace in Pushkar at about midday. The Kishan was once a beautiful big family home that has now been converted into a hotel.  The countryside is stunning all around us we have views of the mountains.  Every single wall inside the hotel has been covered in art work, it's just beautiful.  We had lunch on the rooftop restaurant, which was so relaxing with big soft squidgy sofas to sprawl on and enjoy the view.  We met up at 4.30pm to have a walk through the town.   For the Hindus, Pushkar is one of the holiest cities, in fact it is the only city in India to have a Brahma Temple.  There are always a lot of Indians making a pilgrimage to Pushkar to visit the Temple and bathe in the sacred lake.  Pushkar has a different look to any other city we have visited so far.  It's quite orderly, in an Indian sort of way, also the buildings are adorned with artwork, which is a style we haven't seen before.  We are having my birthday party tonight on the rooftop. DJ has invited his cousins to join us as it is also one of his cousin's birthday.  Doris has bought me a lovely scarf for my birthday also  a beautiful frieze on silk depicting scenes of Udaipur.   Oh she does spoil me!
 After we finished the main meal, Doris, Fred and Maddie stood up and started dishing out pieces of paper.  Doris then announced to me that she had written me a birthday song.   Why am I not surprised!  I would now like to share this touching tribute with you. Sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine: 

  1.  Oh today's a special day
  For Princess Ginger to celebrate
  A pamper day with tasty bits
  that's if she hasn't still got the shits  
 She's been ill for half the trip 
 Rip Van winkle with her long kips
  Lots of vomiting and shits
  Fred's been mopping up all her bits
  Chorus: We all know that our Ginger's 62 
 You don't believe it's true? 
 She's deffo 62
  We all know that our Ginger's 62 
 Disillusioned she may be
 She thinks she's 33  

  2.  We've been to Delhi and Jailsamer
 Jodphur, Udaipur 
 And now Pushkar 
 Amazing sights
 Amazing folk 
 And our guide DJ's
 A lovely bloke
 It was mental on the train 
 But it was blissful in the pool 
 Camels farting on the trek 
 Though kicking Fred was very cruel  


 3.  So she'll share this special day
  Inviting new friends to birthday tea 
 And she might behave herself 
 But there can be no guarantee  

  Chorus to finish.
Thanks Doris, that was very special, and thanks to the rest of the group for jumping on Doris's whacky bandwagon and making it a memorable birthday.  When the singing finished,  the lights went down and DJ came out with a big cream birthday cake!  This has just been so much fun, I will always remember this birthday.
PS I apologise for the Princess on the throne photo -  the group said that if it didn't go on the blog it was going on youtube.  Fred has a lot to answer for. 



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Shaz on

Love the birthday song...... Glad your feeling slightly better...

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