Jaipur

I just had the most horrendous experience. I arrived in Jaipur. The 4 gb data and roaming I paid £30 for isn’t working. So I have no mobile phone and no google maps. So I paid a tuk tuk driver to take me to my guest house. At first I can’t find it. Then it turns out it stuck at the back of some grotty flats on the second floor. When I arrive there are two guys asleep on the floor who after 5 minutes gut up to serve me. They wont let me check the room before booking in. so I booked in and get taken to my room. Its a concrete prison sell. I sit down on the bed and my stomach starts to fill with dread and sickness. The doors are metal prison cell doors where you have to provide your own padlock. The cupboards are metal cabinets. The shelving are metal storage cabinets with newspaper on the shelves. Everything just feels so wrong. I cant connect to the wifi to access booking.com. Then the power goes off. I want to leave but its only 1.5 hours to sun set. Do I really want to be walking round an unfamiliar Indian city in the dark with no phone? fuck it, I needed to get out of there.

I said sorry and left. I started walking around Jaipur with my bags in the heat getting tireder and tireder. I found a hotel and asked if there were any rooms. They said “no, sorry sir, indians only”. I found another hotel and a guest house but got a weird look and a similar reply. Then I happened across what looked like a posh hotel, but I gave it a go anyway. I asked the price, but they said would I like to see the room first. Seamed like a good idea. The room seamed lovely. so asked the price. they said 1200 rupees. because I was stressed and tired I got my maths wrong and thought that was £140 so I said no and walked away. Then they dropped the price to 1000 rupees. I calmed down again and realized that that was only £12. Panic over. phew. Travelling can be stressful.

well I’d love to stay in this hotel, but the wifi is limited to 300mb a day. So I cant do any uploading of hi res images which is the whole point of being here :-(

Well it doesn’t get any easier. Got up this morning and got out of my current hotel that didn’t provide toilet paper, towels, unlimited wifi, and whos staff didn’t speak English. I was determined to to make it to my new hotel on foot. maps.me said it was in one location and google maps and booking.com said it was in another. I walked to the first location and couldn’t find it. I walked round and round in circles but only functional map app I had was the one saying it was in another location 1.6 km away. Eventually I gave up and decided too walk to the second location. In the end I got so hot and tired I gave up and got in a taxi. He took me back to the first location. Apparently the name of the hotel that I’d been looking for was actually the name of the chain which was why I couldn’t find it. The hotel itself was called something completely different. Finally I made it into the hotel. I guess what. They had never herd of me and didn’t have my booking….after 10 minutes of nervousness and phone calls to booking.com it turned out that they hadn’t processed the booking yet….

I’m pretty sure I hate this country. Since I’ve been here I’ve been ‘trying to get it over with’ I’m not sure I’ve found anything enjoyable yet. its like being stuck in a small hot loud room full of thousands of flies and mosquitoes constantly buzzing in your face, and in your ears, and in your nose, and in your eyes. Constantly biting you and sucking your blood. I swear i’m not going to bother talking to anyone anymore. I’m going to ignore the lot of them. Constantly having to say no to tuk tuk drivers, shop owners and beggars is steeling energy I simply don’t have. They can all just fuck off. I’m coming very close to shouting fuck off at people. I miss Thailand. It it gets any worse here I might just leave and go there instead.

I’ve decided I need to chill the fuck out. Originally I’d booked this hotel for 3 days, but I need a pleasant stable environment for a bit. Basically I need to stop moving. So I’ve booked another 2 days. Ofcourse the price has doubled, but thats still only £20 a night. So I get 5 days in the same location. bloody luxury that. I hope Jaipur is going to be ok. So far i’ve spent about 5 hrs walking around it looking for a decent place to sleep…
I started ordering food by picking names that I recognized, dal, thali, korma, methi, masala, but I’m getting bored with eating the same stuff, so now I’m just pointing as stuff with an interesting name. I tried asking the waiters “whats in it?” but generally they don’t speak English so I’m just going for it. So far the only disappointments food wise are the two times I ordered thai. My experience is that indians have no idea what what a green or red curry is and make it up as they go along. As long as the resulting curry is green or red, they don’t seam to think anything else matters lol. My green curry was a a very dark green grass colour, full of peas and tasted of ‘generic indian curry’ I don’t think it had ever seen a coconut….

When I came to India I wanted to be self sufficient. Turns out you cant. not really. Not if you want to get good photos. All of the security stop you from taking photos if you are white and you have to bribe them to carry on. If you actually hire a reliable guide and tuk tuk driver they will not only argue with the security for you and tell them to stop being a dick, they will distract them whist you nip in to ‘out of bounds areas’ to get the shot. Interestingly enough, all the prime photospots are funnily enough out of bounds. Mmm.

Well just properly lost my temper for the first time. I was walking up a 45 degree incline, carrying one camera body, two lenses and a tripod, running out of water, against the clock, to reach the summit before sundown. A kid latched on to me and said “hey smoke smoke”. I wasn’t smoking, I didn’t have any cigarettes, which I told him, but he kept on relentless, ” hey smoke, smoke, hey smoke smoke” I just snapped. In a split second I could have either punched him in the face, or shouted in his face at the top of my voice. Luckily I’m not a violent person. These people push you and push you and push you without any any awareness of the effect they are having, or how stressed you are getting. If you pull a dogs tail you expect to get bitten. I don’t understand why people her think you can just keep pushing us. Quite frankly I’m getting sick of the prejudice in this country. Separate hotels for Indians, separate floors for eating at restaurants, security guards making up tourist tax fines all over the place. Quite frankly I don’t feel welcome here at all. They young kids are great though. I guess they haven’t learned all the bad habits yet. I young girl blew me a kiss from a balcony. I wanted to return it so not to be rude, however its seamed inappropriate so I didn’t.

Nearly slipped and broke my neck on a cow pat whilst crossing a busy main road. Yup. This is India. On the plus side I can now cross a crossroads in the dark, with traffic driving directly at me from all directions, constantly beeping their horns at me, and not flutter an eye lid. This is desensitization in the extreme. I expect I’ll be a different person when I do finally get home.

Here are some photos

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The full set can be found on flickr

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