Indian Head Bobble
Trip Start Dec 18, 2013
17Trip End Jan 03, 2014
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After feeling a little bit confident, my journey to Pushkar began with a 80 Rs autorickshaw ride to the main bus station at 1130 am. There was no stopover but luckily I bought a bunch of bananas for lunch on the bus. The 3 hours of slow ride through the dilapidated outskirts of Jaipur revealed a more accurate picture of Rajasthan than Jaipur itself.
Approaching 1pm, a carsick local auntie behind me almost showered me with her vomit as she struggled to crank open the tiny window. She stuck her face out in time for the gooey vomit projectile. Luckily the back windows were shut as the winds painted an abstract masterpiece on the bus. I sighed a relief that my delhi belly was dormant and I could have got a warm hair tonic treatment!
The passenger beside me, a local electrical engineer smiled and started chatting with me, making sure that I was alright
To get to Pushkar, I had to switch to another bus at Ajmer. The bus station at Ajmer expectedly was a scene of chaos. Some instructed me to buy my ticket at the booth, another said just wait at this spot and buy ticket on the bus. So I waited with a lot of passengers in this cloud of pollution both air and sound, but for a long time no bus seemed to be coming at all.
At this point, I was quite frustrated by the waiting, and consciously I began to notice people nonchanlantly bumping into me, even with the amber space to get around me. They just had to make bodily contact! That really worn me down. Then I had to entertain a young tout trying his best to get me to stay at his guesthouse in Pushkar. I got his name card but he got nothing out of me, so he proceeded to hassle an european backpacker.
My only entertainment whilst waiting was the numerous chai walas sounding out their masala tea for 5 Rs. They all went "Chaaaaaaaiiiiiii....Chaaaaaaaiiiii....!" with one hand on a kettle and the other a tower of plastic cups. As you can imagine, the place was littered with crushed chai plastic cups.
Shoving Up the Bus
The bus arrived in sounding fashion
Getting up the bus was a real challenge especially when the alighting passengers were shoving to get off the bus against the mob stomping up the bus! What a sight! I managed to climb on board with some amount of pushing. My two backpacks were an obstacle in a packed bus like this. So off we went but the supposedly half hour bus trip turned out to be an hour. Thankfully my delhi belly did not act up.
Al Pacino Line
The moment I got down from the bus, the rickshaw touts came scrambling, determined to bring me to their guesthouses. What really was upsetting, was that these young boys were really rude. Some started shouting at my face as I decided to go with a different rickshaw. They went "Oi! Oi! Sit my rickshaw!!" I lost my cool and did the Al Pacino Taxi Driver line "You shouting at me?? You shouting at me??" but with a crazed look. The kid backed off immediately. Don't piss off a man with delhi belly.
Indian Head Bobble
The 100 Rs autorickshaw took me to Pushkar Inn on the eastern side of Pushkar Lake
Finally sat down for late lunch at 4pm in the garden courtyard of Alpine Garden restaurant. All the menu had was vegetarian dishes. This is Pushkar, the holiest of the holy, as I was informed. But I could order meat dishes and alcohol if I ask very discreetly. Uhmmm...I think I better not, not sure if the meat is even fresh, considering everyone here is a vegetarian.
So including yesterday, I would be abstaining from meat for a minimal of 3 days! Bravo for a carnivore like myself! The chow mien was really bad by the way. The waiter also admitted that their chinese cooking was not up to scratch but I should try their Italian food next time
The Pushkar Lake Sunset
The ghat directly in front of Pushkar Inn is the perfect setting for a sunset view. The warm light glowed magically over Pushkar Lake, casting shadows of surrounding ghats onto the glistering reflection of the Pushkar sunset. So serene and peaceful, until a small group of musicians and singers parked themselves in front of my view and started serenading me with traditional folk songs. It was quite nice by the way so I parted with my 50 Rs and they moved on to the next foreigner. This sunset will be ranked highly on my list of wonderful sunsets that I had experienced.
The Return of Delhi Belly
You wouldn't think a holy site like Pushkar would be celebrating a western holiday like Christmas...but here we were, christmas party at the Sunset Hotel that put on repeat an acquired playlist of mind boggling doof doof that went on til 1 am in the morning followed by traditional drum banging and sitar plucking. Seriously...its 3am. Full blast hardcore trance at the holiest of the holiest Brahma city? The organizers ought to be locked up for 24 hours in a cell with Bieber on repeat as a punishment!
The most recognisable track out of the din was Dr Alban's Its My Life...oh my god..I spent my entire life cremating that dreadful song and it surfaced here of all places! Not to my surprise, my delhi belly made a full return. Considering that most of my day was spent on buses, it was really not a great day...with the exception of that nice sunset.