a silver urn, taller than me. it was made to hold holy water from the ganges river. it was the only water that the maharaja would use (for everything).
My favorite part of the city palace was a courtyard that has 4 gates, one to represent each season. This one with the peacocks represents summer, then you have monsoon, spring and winter.
Hello from Jaipur! I have been here a few days and will leave tomorrow for Pushkar. I have mostly been taking it easy here, seeing a few sights, eating plenty of curry and naan, and resting. Jaipur is called the "Pink City" because the original part of the city is inside a walled area and the wall and all of it's buildings are painted pink. The architecture is really nice and in the center they have the City Palace Museum, which is where the maharaja lived, once upon a time. It is now a museum, which is great, because I was able to go in there and have a good look around.
Today I took a bus out to Amber Fort, which is about 11km north of Jaipur. It is set up in the hills and it is stunning. It's better than other forts I've seen so far, because it was actually used as a residence and not only a fort.
I am staying in a guest house in the new city (which is the expansion outside the pink city walls). It's pretty modern- there are stores like LaCoste and United colors of benetton- but it's still India, which chai shops, stands along the road, men randomly pissing in the street. Jaipur seems to have it's fair share of pushy sales people. I've been approached more than once in the last few days by men pretending to want to have a normal conversation for the sake of cultural exchange, claiming they're not selling anything, and then within 2 yards trying to sell me something. In the last couple of weeks I've gotten pretty good at feigning deafness, which sometimes makes me feel guilty, but is also a survival tool.
I have also met a few really great people. Like the guy working at the restaurant where I had dinner yesterday. When he found out I am half Hungarian, he told me that his first English teacher was a Hungarian guy. We had a really great conversation about Obama and the Indian government and crazy Indian guys in the street. Another was the bus driver on the way back from Amber Fort. He didn't speak English and I don't speak Hindi, but he was really set on making sure I knew when to get off and which direction to walk in. So for all the jerks that I meet, there is at least one great person.
India is really growing on me. When I first got here, it was a little too much for the senses. But as I get used to the craziness, I realize that I really like it.
Well, I'm off to Pushkar tomorrow. I will post pictures again soon. Hope everyone is enjoying the rain back home!