Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Karen and Blip go to India with Intrepid

Karen and Blip go to India with Intrepid

Dec 21st, 2010, 04:23 AM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Yes, the small puppet show was in the courtyard, so that might well have been it, Bob.
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 03:30 AM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Wishing everyone happy holidays! I'll be in Colorado for Christmas and will finish when I return.
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2010, 01:12 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,384
Thanks. Same to you, Blip and Karen!
CaliNurse is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 07:08 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,756
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Looking forward to reading more of your report soon!
dgunbug is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 09:04 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
I'm beginning to think I DO want to go to India. Your pix are great.
tarquin is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 05:15 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Namaste, Fodor's friends. I'm back from a wonderful Christmas in Colorado... with thoughts of India still on my mind. Picking up where I left off:

Jaipur, day 2

We slept in today and, after a modest breakfast buffet at the hotel, headed out for a walk through town. There were few other tourists in sight, and we quickly became an attention-getter, with many of the locals staring, smiling, and (especially the kids) wanting their pictures taken.

We strolled through a vegetable market that was in full swing. The colors are what I remember most - red and green peppers, white cauliflower, yellow bananas, and various other fruit and vegetables, served up by women in saris just as vividly colored. We saw a man carrying a couple of live chickens by the feet. They were flapping their wings and squawking - but likely unaware of their impending demise and de-feathering. Two young girls ran up to see if I'd take their picture - and and the result brought a round of giggles.

It was a glorious blue-sky morning, and Jaipur was bustling. Commerce was in full swing, and bicycles, motorbikes, cycle-rickshaws, tuk-tuks, goats, cows, men pushing carts, women carrying bundles on their heads, and pedestrians all vied for space in the street. It was a constantly changing scene, each second different from the previous. I was once again enthralled with India. It is a total sensory experience.

We had lunch at a hotel in the downtown area (forget the name). I had parhma saad (mixed vegetables), which soon had my mouth on fired - in a good way.

As we walked, we had a little interaction with people on occasion. One guy commented to a friend as we passed: "Very good height" (in response to Robin, who is indeed quite tall, about 6 feet). Another asked where we were from and when Lidia told him we were from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and America, he responded: "Ah, mixed vegetables" (which may have instigated my lunch order!).

After lunch, Tej gave us the choice of the observatory or the city palace. In hindsight, I wish I'd picked the city palace (or managed to squeeze in both rather than squandering some time later that afternoon shopping!), but John suggested the observatory, and the rest of us agreed to give it a try. It's definitely worthwhile. Built by the king in the 18th Century, it boasts some amazing "technology" - an accurate sundial and various other astronomical tools. We had a local tour guide give us the inside scoop, and after quite a few pictures, we were sated.

As we were walking to the site, one of the women in our group quietly told me to head across the street and the others soon surrounded me and directed me onward. Turns out there were a couple of snake charmers across from the observatory, and they'd "saved" me from seeing them! I peeked over from across the street and saw the men and baskets but quickly turned away. Sydney said she did see a cobra come out of one of them. Panic attack averted!

Afterwards, we did some major shopping - after all, that evening was Bollywood night! I bought an Indian blouse, several of the women bought scarves, John tried on a turban, we picked up some calendars, and before you know it, the afternoon had faded and it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Not, however, before I stopped at a small stand for a lassi served in a clay cup. Yum! A lassi is a yogurt-like drink that can be ordered sweet or salty, plain or fruit-flavored (usually banana or mango). It was my favorite treat in India! At that stand, they only had sweet, plain ones, but banana ultimately became my drink of choice.

We met in the lobby, everyone decked out, for Bollywood night. Our van driver took us the theater, which was really beautiful. We had the best time. The theater was packed with locals (we were the only non-Indians I saw). I thought the movie was awesome. It was a little schlocky, but it was beautifully filmed. Every scene was like a vivi painting, vaguely reminiscent of Edward Hopper. It was in Hindi, but oddly enough, every 30 seconds or so, the actors would say a couple of sentences of Engish - just enough so we could follow the plot. I loved it! During intermission, Sydney and I bought some popcorn for 25 rupees (although there was a sign saying "no eatables" in the theater, everyone seemed to be ignoring it, so we did, too). After the movie, we went across the street and up to the 5th floor of a building to a disco club - complete with 70s and 80s American music, including Michael Jackson and Abba. It was a hoot! We ordered drinks and food, and all ended up out on the disco floor dancing the night away. Then we hopped a tuk-tuk (again we crowded into one) and laughed all the way back to the hotel.

Another successful day in incredible India.

Tomorrow: Agra and the Taj Mahal.
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 06:08 PM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Sorry about all the typos - I didn't proof-read.

Here are the photos that go with this installment:

http://kbutler1122.zenfolio.com/p918797071
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 07:11 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,925
yes next time head for the palace... its quite lovely
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 07:11 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,925
is blip liking india?
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 07:18 PM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Blip LOVED India! (But he got really mad at one point - you'll find out soon!)
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 07:22 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,619
Enjoying your report and your photos!
Kathie is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 07:39 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Thanks, Kathie.

(Oops, I know Abba was a Swedish group, not American!)

And Cali - I had overlooked your earlier comment about Gujurat in 2012! I'll keep that in mind. I just asked Tej via email to give me a recommendation for a return trip to India! I'll let you know what he suggests.
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 08:08 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 290
Kathie
Planning a few days in India in April. Did I overlook the link to Tej? If not, can you give it to me. He sounds like what I am looking for. Thanks.
Shrink
Shrink is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 08:11 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 290
OOPS!!!!!
Sent above to wrong person...sorry Kathie. Althom please forgive and if you have the link, would appreciate it.
Shrink
Shrink is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 08:31 PM
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
No problem. My name is actually Karen, so Kathie is close!
Tej is a guide with Intrepid so he doesn't have a link. I don't know if he does private tours, but I'll ask him and let you know.
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 09:54 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,384
I'll bet Tej will suggest Kerala!
I love how your new friends protectively surrounded and hussled you away from the snakes! Arent you glad you revealed your fear to them?
What movie did you see --did i miss its title?

Sounds like you had LOADS of fun!!!!!
There's something about India memories that makes me smile more broadly than those from equally wonderful places.
Is it the contrasts? the humor? Where else can you see a road sign directed at motorcyclists in the craziest traffic in the world, which says, "Hell or Helmet--choice is yours"
CaliNurse is offline  
Dec 27th, 2010, 10:52 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,384
Shrink, I'll bet the photo galleries have whet your appetite for India, even for your 5 day trip. Think of this trip as an appetizer and see if you like it enough to spend more time one day, when you have that luxury.
A big Texan "yee-haw" to you!
CaliNurse is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 05:29 AM
  #38  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
The movie was Guzaarish - it was wonderful. Here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9QiS6nw1DM
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 05:40 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,756
Great report and pictures. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Movie looked very interesting. Hope Blip enjoyed it too!
dgunbug is offline  
Dec 28th, 2010, 11:41 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,384
Thank you, Karen.

Now you're back home, one way to get you back in the spirit of India is to rent some good movies--both those produced in "Bollywood" and those with India theme.
Interesting what you'll notice, now that you've been.

One example of that is restaurant kitchen scene in "Slumdog Millionaire" where the brother is gluing the tops back on water bottles!!

Another is the family in "The Namesake" standing together in awe and appreciation and love, visiting Taj Mahal. Makes me shed a tear, every time.

There's a thread here with recommendations, and a veerrryyy long one on Indiamike.
CaliNurse is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:24 PM.