Thursday, January 26, 2023

Jodhpur, India, January 26, 2023

I guess you can’t have it all, at least not in India.  It was very quiet by 10 pm but the bed…. I think I’m sleeping on a box spring!  I did however have a good sleep so ….

I had a slow start as there isn’t a lot to see and I’m tired of being around so many people and noise all the time.  It’s exhausting.  I watched All Quiet on the Western Front on Netflix.  It’s another war movie, maybe showing more emotion and foolish leadership than others and it was very violent and graphic.  It’s been nominated for lots of Oscars so I wanted to see it.

Brunch was kaju curry which is cashews in a delicious sauce with roti of course.  Different menus offer roti, chapati and naan.  To me they’re all the same and that’s sort of true.  Roti is also called chapati and is made with whole-wheat flour and naan with white flour-

I ended up eating in this particular restaurant because I was looking for the stepwells-

I didn’t find them as impressive as in Amber.

I stopped for masala chai.  They boil the tea and spices as well as the milk-

then combine them to make the most delicious drink ever.

Next, I bought my bus ticket.  I could have purchased it online but walked to the travel agency from where the bus will be leaving at 7:15 Saturday morning.  On the way I stopped in a jewelry store and bought an amethyst ring.  They’re sizing it and bringing it tonight….I hope!  There’s a “lake” along the way-

with no access.

Next I walked up a big hill to Jaswanth Thada which is the Taj Mahal of Jodhpur.  

Entertainment along the way-

Jaswanth Thada was built in memory of Maharaja Jaswanth Singhji’s II of Jodhpur who died in 1895, by his son, and completed in 1906-

Rituals are performed inside-

A nice window shutter-

Outside are cenotaphs for former rulers-

Older tombs nearby-

The view is nice-

There’s a lake next to it-

I took a tuktuk (pronounced toque toque) to the fort-

but I’m forted out so did not go in.  I carried on to the blue part of Jodhpur.  Jaipur is the pink city, Jodhpur is the blue city and Udaipur is the lake city.  

It’s blue all right, dirty and poor-

Nice wall art-

I decided I didn’t need to see anymore so stopped to have a beer in a rooftop restaurant.  They don’t have any on hand so have to run to the nearest liquor store.  When I sat down I reached down to pull my chair forward and discovered I now have a hole about 3” x 2 “ midway between my knee and butt cheek on the back of my right leg.  I had laundry done last night and forgot to say “no ironing” - such a foreign concept to me.  These are my only pants and what pissed me off the most was that all items were returned neatly folded in a bag. No one had the guts to tell me they had burned a hole in my pants.  The edges of the hole are crusty melted!  I’ve told the owner of the guest house and I will give him the pants later on today and he will return them to the launderer and I hope that the hole will be repaired and that I will get my pants back before I leave. That will be the next concern.

I came back to the guesthouse and I’m now relaxing. Not sure what I will do tomorrow but the most famous lassi shop in the world will finally be open and it is about a two minute walk away so I will be checking it out for sure!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Jaipur to Jodhpur, India, January 25, 2023

Happy 34th birthday to my favourite son-in-law Mitch! I hope you have a good day without me!

I was up at 4:30, hailing a tuktuk at 5:00 and at the bus depot sitting waiting for the train at 5:20. And then it was late! The platforms-

are well marked but there are so many cars that there are suspended ceiling signs showing where your car will stop so you’re in the right spot at the right time to board.  Often the train stops only for a minute and you have to really hurry to get on so you better be standing where you need to be.  I had been sitting for a long time when all of a sudden people started moving down the platform to the right. I got up and had a look and there was the train!  If other people hadn’t noticed and started moving, I would still be sitting there waiting for it to show up! 

It was the same type of car as the last train and soon we were on our way. It’s getting a bit sandy in places but there’s still a lot of farming –

I visited with a woman from Jaipur who grew up in Jodhpur.  She’s going to a wedding today.  Then Chauchan sat at our table and started talking about his ashram and all of the services he provides as well as showing me some of the paintings he was trying to sell. I couldn’t understand half of what he said and I couldn’t hear the other half so I just nodded and said oh yeah oh yeah. He had me re-write an English recommendation he got from a client in 1983. He was carrying a 2 inch stack of reviews, many being 40+ years old. I think he was a quack. However he wasn’t that dumb because he scoped out the kids on the train and in no time had sold two paintings to them for 20 pounds each. I would’ve given him about 1 pound each but he was very smooth and they fell in love with the artwork.

Once in Jodhpur, getting to the Dylan Restaurant and Guest House was easy and I think it’s going to be okay.  The owner loves Bob Dylan, hence the name.  He has another guesthouse in Jaisalmer that’s called Bob’s.  There’s a beautiful rooftop lounge-

with very comfortable beds.  The view is nice too-

of Mehrangah Fort which I plan to visit tomorrow.

I walked to the Clock Tower-

which is in Samar Market-

Theres a gate-

to a very small old town filled with shops.  Indians are as commercial as North Americans - they smother the shops, but thankfully this place is WITHOUT the constant hassle. 

He’s maybe not so typical-

This guest house doesn’t take credit cards and I need to pay for my yoga course with cash so I’ve been looking for an ATM that will accept my card.  I found one! so now should have enough money to last until the end of the trip.  

I visited a spice shop where the proprietor is a woman! So rare! She said her father started the shop 45 years ago and when he died, he had seven daughters so each one now has a franchise. There’s even been a documentary produced about their shop-

A couple from Slovenia came in ready to buy quite a few spices so I sat and learned about them, smelled them and tasted them. Green pepper is the mildest and white pepper is the hottest but doesn’t have an odour.  I don’t have any room in my backpack to bring any home which is unfortunate –

I came back to the hostel and enjoyed the rooftop sunset.  There’s a bit of chaos below-

Tomorrow I’ll go exploring!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Jaipur, India, January 24, 2023

I must have needed a break because I didn’t get going until noon and I was back at the hotel/dump by 4 PM.

My first visit was at the Jantar Mantar which is a park with 19 astronomical instruments completed in 1734. The instruments allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.  It was interesting but I would like to see how it works.  Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II founded Jaipur but he was also a scholar in physics, mathematics and astronomy.  This is thanks to his ingenious.

The site isn’t that big-

The Unnatamsa measures the altitude of an object in the sky-

The Dakshinodak measures the altitude of the sun as well as the declination (the angular distance of a point north or south of the celestial equator) and length of the day-

The Samrat Yantra finds the time and the hour angle of the stars.  It’s a sextant which is an instrument used to determine the angle between the horizon and the sun, moon or a star to determine latitude and longitude-

Rasivalayah measures the latitude and longitude of zodiac constellations.  Here’s Sagittarius-

The Rama Yantra measures the altitude and azimuth ( the compass direction from which the light is coming) of the sun and stars-

I watched a short documentary about the place and then thought about how I take all of this for granted. Today, these are just known facts but back in the 1700s what a mystery and what geniuses first of all to be interested but also to be able to figure all of this out. Our year is 365 days and the seasons fall when they are supposed to.  Imagine if our calendar year was off and we lost a couple of days of let’s say summer every year. Over time, summer would be fall and fall would be winter etc.  Thank goodness for the scientists who did this work to understand the rotation of the Earth to allow us to live the way we do today.

They have the largest sundial in the world measuring 27 meters-

Other devices-

This one has two marble hemispherical bowls that are sundials. The inverted image of the sky falls on the slabs and the movement of the inverted shadows helps to detect the elevation, azimuth, hour angles and the exact position of stars –

They had a very good marionette show on but I only saw the last 30 seconds-

After, I went to the City Palace but did not go in as I’m a little palaced out-

I started walking home, past the Hawa Mahal street view-

Trying to take a short cut - impossible in India, I ended up in the textile market-

Details for weddings-

The traffic was nuts-

A bathroom sign-

Eventually I made it home and spent time on the rooftop but it was windy and chilly.  I walked down the street looking for supper and ended up with two slices of bread mixed up with fried egg. It was all right.

I have to leave the hostel around 5 am to catch a 6 am train to Jodhpur.  Moving on!  

Jodhpur, India, January 26, 2023 I guess you can’t have it all, at least not in India.  It was very quiet by 10 pm but the bed…. I think I’m...