Trip Start Feb 04, 2008
14Trip End Mar 31, 2008
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Finally in "the north" - you can tell because the heat is getting quite savage. Was recently in the quite charming city of Udaipur - they filmed "Octopussy" there. In a side note, Octopussy is awful. I know this because they show it in every restaurant and cafe at 7 or 7:30pm in Udaipur.
After that it was Chittoorgarh, home of an incredible hilltop fort that took me a good 3 hours of fast walking to see all of. Lots of crazy stories from Chittoorgarh but my personal favourite was leaving my backpack in the very sketchy place a rickshaw driver said was the left luggage place of the bus station, only to ask a bus station employee and have him say there was no left luggage office at that bus station.
I rush back and take back my bag (they tried to charge me for the 2 minutes - pffft!) and when I'm leaving, in burst 3 hijras, which is the transvestite caste here. Google can provide more info than I can about what they're all about, but suffice to say that three tall men in dresses (why are trannies always so tall?) burst in and started demanding money, of me and of the sketchy people working there. I left with maximum haste, but more proof that India is utterly unpredictable.
Here in Jaipur I've been seeing the old town, which is nice but not nearly as charming as Udaipur. Tonight I get the overnight train to Jodhpur for more of the same (forts, old towns, etc.).
Food discoveries have been samosas - they're much more tasty in the north than the south! - lassi, which seems to be an obsession here, and "poha", which is yellow coconut rice with chillies, which people have for breakfast. But mainly, it's samosas, samosas, samosas! So, no complaints!