Trapped inside

Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
Trip End Feb 14, 2010

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm stuck in a hotel again.

Despite the noise from the temples and mosques, the staff are still asleep. Indian hotels keep  fairly conservative hours or have habits slightly restrictive to someone used to to-ing and fro-ing as I please. In Delhi, the common reoom that housed the computers and the dining room also housed most of the staff. If I tried to get in too late or early to type up an entry, their collective snores would turn me away.

In Jaisalmer, our haveli's main gates closed at 10:30 and opened well after dawn. Our shortlived stay in Jodphur was even if unintentionally restrictive. The chain that hooks over a ring to secure the door from the outside managed to catch with us in the room. I had to McGuiver my way out with Emma's toothbrush.

Here in Pushkar, my plan to climb to the temple before sunrise is decisively nixed by the double cable-locked front door.

Seven-thirty and still no sign of life...

Actually that's inaccurate. There are several staff sleeping near the front door, effectively preventing me from using the computer as well. A more demanding tourist -- like the irritating woman from Miami who complained incessantly last night -- would simply wake them and have done with it. I'm either too kind or too timid for this strategy.

Perhaps the outdoor wedding next door kept the staff awake last night. Between that and the outdoor Bollywood film they had playing here, there was no lack of things to do.

The sun has now crested the hills east of here toward Ajmer. Sunlight is working down from the temples on the hill tops around the lake here. I'm multitasking, filling some more pages in my journal, taking in the foreign tongues of the many birds and listening to the odd sound which is the multiplicity of mourning voices.

At first, one hears individual people speaking, but enough people far enough away talking and it becomes a sort of constant muttering, as if the past prayers of a millenia of priests have subsumed into these hills, to be released each sunrise. Now traffic noise and temple bells obscure the effect, and it is simply the confused noise of a small city.

Pushkar is legendary as a town holy to Lord Brahma -- the ashes of both Gandhi and Nehru were scattered in the lake here -- and as legendary for its annoyingly pushy priests. I was hoping to get out early and escape the worst abuses, but this enforced meditation on the hotel patio is as enjoyable, and arguably more productive. Time to go stir Emma.
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