A Travellerspoint blog

Of Cons Mountains and Movies...

8th-11th Jan 2012

sunny 10 °C

Was planning to do this every day but it seems internet is quite hard to come by in the developing world. Who'd have thought it!?

Sunday 8th
In spite of what I said in my last post about the roads being haphazard at the best of times, I decided today that it would be a good idea to rent a motorbike in Pushkar (afore-mentioned holy city) and ride it through the mountains to the next town. You'd think this would be quite difficult for a foreigner, not to mention expensive and require a lot of paperwork. Turns out you'd be wrong. The guy asked to see my passport, wrote down my name and asked for 100 rupees for the bike (1 pound 25 pence) plus petrol. I then gave him a deposit of a 20 pound note which he seemed to think was very generous and he sent me on my way! Riding through the mountains was an amazing experience and gave me a chance to take in the beautiful scenery. This tranquility was rudely interrupted when 20 monkeys jumped out of a nearby tree and ran across the road as I passed. I tried to take a few out with the bike but sadly it wasn't to be, quick little creatures they are!

Monday 9th
Arrived in the city of Jaipur this morning (a ruthlessly busy metropolis) which is allegedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Upon arrival, some guy took it upon himself to "befriend" me and was soon telling me how we could go in to business together selling precious stones bought from Jaipur and sold in the UK. For a laugh, I asked how much the stones would cost and he told me the smallest order it would be worth placing would be for ten thousand pounds. Clearly my Adidas jacket and scruffy trainers exude a sense of grandeur and wealth. Or perhaps he thought that I looked like the person customs officers would least suspect to be a diamond smuggler!

Later on that day I thought I'd check out what India had to offer in terms of cinema as I'd seen an article in the paper promoting a film called "Players". Far from being a Bollywood epic about a notorious gang of underground pickup artists however, this movie was an Indian remake of The Italian Job. Apparently the name "The Indian Job" could be misconstrued. Sadly the 1500 seat, single screen cinema was showing a different movie, so I didn't get to see "Players" but I can only imagine that it features a daring heist, in which turbaned men in battered ford escorts, sit in endless New Delhi traffic, while Chai wallahs (tea sellers) swarm around them.

While I stood outside the cinema contemplating this however, a young Indian guy approached me. Immediately thinking he was trying to sell me something, I made to leave but he followed and we had an interesting conversation about the city. I suggested we get a drink and he took me to an almost empty underground bar where he insisted on buying me a drink. I wondered briefly if I had completely misread the situation and was about to pay the price for it. However the guy seemed genuine and we chatted for an hour or so until he suggested that we go to his family's puppet shop across the street. Not having any plans, I agreed and we went over to the shop where I met his uncle and we sat on the floor for the next few hours drinking coffee and chatting. Sirajj and his uncle Krishna then produced some double ended drums and a harmonium (similar to an accordion) and we played for another hour. Sirajj and his uncle sang the Indian version of do-ray-me and I responded by teaching them the full English version in my best (read terrible) singing voice.

Posted by OmarInIndia 04:07 Archived in India Tagged mountains india friends jaipur motorbike movies pushkar

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