Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Personal Space

Day 407
I was up early and by 7 I was out of the door. I got on the first bus to Ajmer, it was a painless half hour journey, if you don't count the nasty looking latrine I passed. At the bus station I got a ticket for Jaipur and grabbed one of the smaller seats for myself. I had my big bag between my legs on the ground, my mini back pack, purse and another bag on my lap. Despite all this some guy decided to sit next to me. The bus was full though, so I couldn't complain.

At one stop a kid tried to sell me water through the window, I turned him down but he came back a few minutes later with several of his friends. They were all smiling and pointing at me. I could just hear him saying "see, I told you there was a white chick on the bus!" As the number of people on the bus thinned I kept expecting the guy next to me to move so we would both have more space. My legs were starting to get really uncomfortable and I eventually just told him that I was going to move to another seat myself (he was in the isle). This is when he finally got the hint and moved over himself.

When I got to Jaipur there was a crazy crush of tuk tuk drivers. I went with a pre-paid one and was soon at my hotel. I still had to dodge a dodgy offer of a free ride though. Once I had checked in and eaten I grabbed a tuk tuk and headed to the old town. I had meant to see some of the palaces but instead got stuck in sari land. I had been wanting to buy some but they had all be way out of my price range, here I found several from $2 - 4 each. It's just that I ended up having too much to carry.

I decided to shop a bit more but stopped for some ice cream on the way. As I walked by the different shops the owners would grab anything and then hold it up to show me. One guy tried to sell me a ripped pillow cover and told me that it was that way because it was hand made. Another held out a shirt and told me it was r 450 (I have one like it I got for r 170) and that he also carried fat sizes. There was no sale there.

Eventually I got hot, tired and bored and got a tuk tuk to my hotel. At one of the red lights about half a dozen street kids came up to me asking for money. When I said no they began to punch my legs and poke me quite hard in the sides. The driver tried to get them to go away but they just kept jabbing me harder. This was beginning to feel like the longest light ever. Eventually I lost temper and yelled at them to get away. This just provoked them more, but luckily the light changed. I ended up with bruises from them.

That night I had a quick dinner at my hotel before calling it an early night. I was pretty tired after the early start after all.

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