“There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.”
- Robert Service

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Pushkar (a guestpost by Michael)

From January 23rd

I've been having a bit of frustration with the light switches here in India.  They're opposite to what I'm used to (on is down), which I would have thought I'd catch onto by now, but I guess 27 years of conditioning is too hard to break.  I wonder how driving on the left is going to go.

There are at least a dozen switches in our current room: one for every individual outlet, light, water heater, and fan, all in banks of 3 to 6 switches spread throughout the room.  Our last room had one bank inside the bathroom and one outside to control different bathroom lights.  Add to that the occasional reversed or disconnected switch and burned out bulb.  Every night ends with me madly flipping switches until all the lights are off.  Tonight I managed it without swearing.  Sarah was proud.

We arrived in Jaipur this morning after two days in Pushkar.  Pushkar was a pleasant little town, a holy place to Hindus due to the lake and possibly the only Brahma temple in India.  We were told it's the only one, but we were also told that about the rat temple and passed signs for another one yesterday.  Pushkar is also full of tourists, surprisingly many of which are 40+, working on dreadlocks, and wearing hippie pants.  It seems to know it's audience well because there are shops full of Bob Marley posters, hippie clothes (not traditional Indian style, though maybe Indian inspired), and offers for hash everywhere.  By everywhere, I mean only the main market.  Sarah was thinking there must be some yoga retreats nearby to draw that oddly specific type of tourist to town.  

View of Pushkar and the trail up.
The rest of the town is beautiful and fairly quiet.  Our hotel was a short walk from town, down a dirt road and surrounded by wheat fields.  Yesterday, we took a morning hike up to the hill-top Savriti temple to watch the sunrise.  There was a coffee vendor at the top and as soon as the shop opened up, a dozen monkeys arrived.  That was a pretty awesome morning, drinking coffee, and watching monkeys and the sun rise over town.  
Coffee with monkeys.  Not too different from a workday morning.

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