June 19, 2014

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#TBT: 4PM Meltdown

Chaotic square in Jophur

Waiting for samosa

4 pm meltdown coming on

 

As our train pulled into the station at Jodhpur (four hours late), we were met by the hotel's driver. And from our lovely hotel, an old haveli, I sit writing this. the Ratan Vilas is a veritable oasis within the equally chaotic (though much smaller) city of Jodphur. I cannot help but feel like an ugly Westerner as I retreat back to my hotel replete with never ending pots of chai, streaming fountains, and beautifully tiled floors all opening upon an inviting courtyard. However, we have realized our limits and in order for us to truly take in India, we need someplace to return to in the afternoon that is peaceful and quiet. It seems that neither of us is able to bear the non-stop intensity of India past 4 pm.

By 4pm we have reached our boiling point and must return somewhere calm. Usually, it was difficult to find a calm atmosphere within the city so we return to our calm hotel. That being said, we have most certainly ventured out each day on our own. We have yet to use drivers (beyond the first two days) and have instead walked or rickshawed our way around both Delhi and Jodphur. We have stood in long and confusing lines at the train stations to buy, change, and re-change tickets. We have wandered and haggled through the cities bazaars, eating amazing street food and taking photos with the locals (I think that at least a dozen locals have asked to have their photo taken with me, on their own cameras, much the same way we wish to have ours taken with them).

In spite of the chaos, India is a wonderfully colorful place. Beneath the layers of dirt and grime and poverty and desperation, there are smiles and laughter.

Stay tuned for more glimpses of life on the road! This story was originally posted on our blog in January 2010.


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