This is the first Indian city i have been to where i almost constantly got hassled by touts or hawkers as i walking down the street. "Where are you from? English or French? Do you like oils? There is incense being made that i can see....there is a music festival to take pictures at.... there is another market to see....." Are all lines i heard over and over again....It became a pain in MySore (see what i did there) real fast
. Eventually i had to be rude and tell them to leave me alone, dont talk to me. One guy did sucker me in though even though i knew right away the ride i was on. He wouldn't leave me alone and was of course friendly and i was really hungry and of course he knew of a cheap local restaurant. The restaurant was good and it was cheap, he was right as he sat with me as i ate. He proceeded to show me a 'special' local market that no tourists get to see which seemed to be true...small, authentic market. Then i saw incense being made and another guy gave me his best sales pitch for all different oils (including an arm massage)..i didnt bite. I had enjoyed my local tour. Next i was at my 'tour' guy's 'body' shop with all his oils that we cheaper, he gave me a cup of chai and of course i felt bad to not buy anything..which i shouldn't but i always do, i mean i did enjoy my tour. I did want to buy some oil afterall and i did. Just one though, lotus oil. I was happy and laughing. Happy aboot my tour, that the hard sell was over and laughing at myself, how i got suckered in again but felt ok with it at the same time. As i walked back to my hotel, i felt the subtle harrassment again as the questions started again....i tried not to get annoyed but it certainly doesn't make for an particularly positive ora in a city.
I took refuge in my hotel room a bit as i liked my room, it was cosy and comfortable and i was thankful for that. I had a bird eye's view afterall of the street below and all its constant flow and activity....many vendors that stand there 12 hours a day, specializing in either bananas, t-shirts, underwear, or flowers seemed to be the case. The morning i was leaving i was fortunate enough to see a parade go by on the street. There was music, trumpets, drums, marching band, dancing, a few floats with just peeps. And at the end...2 men walking with a crowd around them
. One man was just wearing a white loin cloth and the other man was comletely nude....how very fauxpas in the very modest society of India (where some peeps dont even showever naked). I was shocked! It must be something to do with Ghandi i reckon but couldn't tell you what...it was very surprising and interesting.
And the rest of my time...i wandered the very colourful Devaraja market, a different market. A big bazaar, lively and spellbinding, as they are many different alleys....selling all the standards, food, veg, meat, kumkum (coloured powders used for bindi dots), spices...it was grrrreat for photos!
Then had a great meal that wasn't spicy, paper roast it was called. Like a dosa (very long rolled up light wrap type thing) if you know what that is with yummy sauces and chutneys...and then some treats for desert called 'burfis' with milk and egg, kind of like shortbread but better...mmm. I was very happy to find an enjoyable meal and to find my own true pleasures for that day, for that moment, for that city... for Mysore.
A three hour very winding bus ride and i had arrived in Mysore. It's popular for it's yoga courses. It's famous for it's grand Maharaja's palace. The old king's place is magnificent, it was built in 1912. The palace's interior is a kaleidoscaope of colours, stained glass, mirrors, beautifully carved wooden doors, and mosaic floors. It really is grand and beautiful...perhaps a bit over the top which makes it soooo grand. There are several Hindu temples within the palace grounds as well but the palace is the main icon. It's a shame that a city with such grandeur is such an annoyance.