Desert Trail

Trip Start Jul 25, 2011
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Shanti House Bikaner
Read my review - 1/5 stars
What I did
Bikaner Fort
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Today I woke up at dawn, got my stuff together and left in a few minutes. Don't get me wrong, it was a good time in Jaipur but I really needed some relax and Bikaner was promising some great things.

Of course the way to relax couldn't have started worse since the only way to get there was by bus (I hate the train reservation system with a passion and any bus always has empty seats left if you get there 1 hour before). After a 7 hours ride that deserves no further comments (no, luxury buses don't operate on this route so I'll leave that to your imagination) I finally arrived at sandy Bikaner. Unable to communicate with my host for a specific pickup time I got helped by the another hotel's owner . He recognized the name of my host, called him and saved the day. It was so relieving to see that there is still some nice and polite people doing things for free in this country

If you remember what happened a couple of days before, I literally was shooed out of a pharmacy in Jaipur after refusing to buy a suncream for treating a staphylococcus infection on my eye, you can imagine my mood everytime having to deal with... well, with people. 

I also had the chance to watch a great collection of Indian stereotypes on tv while I was waiting in the hall: two cricket channels, a skin whitening cream and some gangsta-rapper style guy surrounded by Russian women craving his brand new cellphone, all of this while the elderly married couple next to me commented loudly the news from a financial newspaper.

At last my host arrived and brought me to his home and family, and talked about my plans in Bikaner and after. The most precious advice he gave me was the BIG one. There's a bus running from Bikaner to Amritsar! No need to go back to Delhi! At last the stars are aligning- they were stuck into the Constellation of the Shit for way too long.
Last but not least, went on a shopping tour ar a handweaving factory. As I update this page a few weeks after visiting, the stuff I bought turned out being overpriced, child manifactured scammer junk. Sigh.
Later my host and I chatted in the car, waiting for his wife and daughter to come back from the shrine and the subject of India's wealth came up. What surprised me was that my host admitted to once had been very poor. According to his opinion, India is very rich but of rich people. He blamed the large gap between people on lazy individuals that choose to beg and annoy rather than work.
A distant noise interrupted the conversation: it wasn't Charles Dickens rolling in his grave but a cow that turned upside down an unattended lassi kiosk to get something to eat. Cows eating yogurt? Why not.
The antibiotics are taking their toll on my body and energy, but I'll do my best to take a tour of Bikaner. This is actually a human city, where the people are way more polite. There's far less garbage on the street, the car noise doesn't make your ear bleed and (gasp!) just a handful of touts. Haven't seen a westerner the whole time.
I guess that people from small cities are nicer wherever you go. As long as they don't own businesses that deal with foreigners, I guess. 
Let's find some sugar candies, getting so bitter I'm hating myself these days.

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