Sunday, February 15, 2009

Warming up to India

We had the best day today. We were tired of all the tourist stuff, so opted out of the palace tour, and wandered around to old town/fort area of Jaisalmer. The town is a desert town, and all the buildings are made from golden sandstone. Most of the windows and doors are beautifully carved. And the people hassle you so much less than in the cities. They understand the word "no" and don't continue to bug you. We wandered around the shops looking at things and joking with the sales people. We bought some pretty anklets that we used on our wrists and people kept looking at them and giggling, cause we were wearing them wrong. Also, the people selling them kept trying toget us to buy more even though we insisted we already had some and waved them in their faces. One little girl was really cute and we proposed selling ours back to her, and joked around with prices of 3000 and 5000 rupees (one is about 10 really). And whenever someone wants to take a picture with us, Eman says "100 rupees!"

Towards the end of the day, we were tired and stopped in a shop where they gave us tea and kept unfolding piles and piles of pashmina scarfs for us to look at. They call the reversible ones "Sunday-Monday" because you wear one color the next day and another the next.

As we were walking back to the hotel filled with yummy pasta, we saw some girls playing badminton on the street and went to talk to them. We ended up meeting their whole family of 11 and having tea and talking and playing for about an hour and a half. We have finally found the nice Indian people. Lesson: small towns rock.

Yesterday, we went on a camel safari (riding around for a couple of hours and stopping on a sand dune for a while). The dune areas were really pretty, with endless sand and pretty designs. Camel riding really sucks though. It's super bumpy. I thought that maybe once they started running fast, it would get smoother, like a horse, but definitely not. My guide kept trying to get me to do a long 21 day camel safari, but I don't think I ever need to get on a camel again.

We finally have returned to Indian food after a 3-day hiatus. The awful food the first couple of days put us off, but we're following the trusty lonely planet and doing ok. It's funny, every store and restaurant has signs saying "recommended by Lonely Planet" even if they're not. And if they are, there are 3 with the same name in one block, so you never know anyway.

The next two weeks are going to be ok. I swear we spend at least an hour each day talking about home or food at home, but we really are having a blast.

1 comment:

Elsabeth said...

Ali! It all sounds so exciting... I'm glad you're having such a good time! Tell Eman hi for me. And talk more about delicious food, it makes my mouth water.