Funny Hindi/English sign outside of a temple.
This is the guest house I've been staying at in Udaipur the last few days.
My pretty new hand- all the tourists get their hands henna'ed and it was just a matter of time until I succumbed. I'm happy to say though that I have not traded in my actual clothes for "tourists in India" clothes, like every other foreigner.
The peacock dance- I went to a Rajasthani dance thing. It was really cool. Hard to show how neat it was through a picture, but at least you get an idea of the beautiful Rajasthani clothes.
A temple thing decorated for yesterday's holiday (forgot the name, sorry).
Sign outside the Jain temple in Ranakpur. Please note that "revealing clothes" means any part of the leg and/or shoulders. If you wear shorts or capris, you have to rent a weird nightgown thing to wear over your clothes.
Inside the Jain temple.
Me and Pablo- a nice Spanish kid I met on the sleeper bus on the way to Udaipur.
Just a shot of a peaceful street in Udaipur.
Hello- I am still in Udaipur. It's my 5th day here but I am leaving on a night train to Bombay tonight. There are only trains to Bombay three times a week which is the real reason I have been in Udaipur for so long, although it is also very pretty and peaceful. I may have already mentioned it, but the town is wrapped around a lake which is pretty, kind of. The lake is half dried-up so there's a lot of smelly trash around the banks. If it were full, it would be really pretty. But it's only half-full, so it's ok.
I have done plenty while here in Udaipur. Mostly I have been laying around in the shade (it's really hot here) and reading. But- I have also explored the city far and wide on foot as well as scooter. That's right, I rented a scooter. I saw the shop and I went in to check prices- only 300 rupees (6 bucks) for a whole day of scooter! Then I thought about what a terrible idea it is to drive here because everyone here drives like a maniac. I still hadn't completely made up my mind when I got into the shop and the next thing I knew, I was scooting away. I got lost several times- really you could say that my adventure was just a series of getting lost. I got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a stubborn cow who wouldn't move out of the street. My hand started hurting because I haven't used a clutch in over 4 months. But it was fun! and I made it back to the shop in one piece.
Yesterday I took a day trip with a new friend to Ranakpur, to see the Jain temple out there. It is 3 hours away and in the middle of the desert. I didn't realize that there really is nothing else to see out there. The temple was pretty cool, though. It is made of marble and it is extremely ornately decorated with thousands of carvings of deities and animals and dancers. So pretty!
On the way home, I had the craziest bus ride of all time. I think something like this has to happen to everyone at least once in India. The bus heading back to Udaipur pulled up, and it was stuffed to the gills with people going to some festival. I managed to cram myself on there with five other people (not sure how) and we trundled off southward. I was being pushed in pretty much every direction, and my knees weren't lined up with my feet. At one point a little kid a couple of people away from me barfed because it was so hot and the road was windy. He couldn't help it but he puked all over some guys pants as well as the floor. These nice Indian ladies took a liking to me and kept talking to me in Hindi. I didn't understand a word that wasn't translated for me, but they were so nice and smiley. They invited me to their festival. I wish I could've joined them, but I was not about to get stuck out in the middle of the desert for the night.
After a while some guy passed out from the heat and all the bodies pushing. He looked like he was dead because his eyes didn't close and everyone freaked out, but they didn't stop the bus. Oh no! They stood him up and smacked him a couple times and eventually after some very interesting shuffling around, got him a seat.
Well, that is about it for now. More adventures in India to come later.
Oh yeah! If any of you faithful blog-readers wants something specific (and small) from India, send me an email telling me what it is so I can start to look for it. I haven't bought anything so far, because I can't really carry much, but I'm planning to start buying stuff in a few weeks when I'm around Darjeeling and Calcutta. If no requests, I'll probably just bring back a box of crap and let people choose from it. Sorry, but there is a lot of stuff here in India and while it is all cool to look at, almost none of it is actual useful in daily life. So anyways, let me know...