Experiencing the real India in Jodhpur
After Pushkar we travelled to Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City. This is a bigger city, more like Jaipur but a lot more beautiful. It has a huge fort at the top of the hill and millions of little terracota buildings and guest houses built around it. Most of them are blue and have very nice rooftop restaurants with a view over the city and the fort.
Here we decided to spend 2 days because the city had a lot to see, including a big palace, the fort and many little markets and shops.
The inside of the Palace is nothing special, it’s just a small museum with a few photos and the story about the Maharaja who built it, but the outside is great, the palace is huge and it has a cool garden in front of it.
The fort is probably the nicest thing we’ve seen in India so far, after Taj Mahal of course. The view from up there is gorgeous, we could see how much blue the city has everywhere, and inside the fort there were many rooms wih exhibitions of old baby beds and chariots, many stairs to climb and see the Jodhpur from different angles. Really cool! In the end there was a small crafts market for tourists, but real quality things, the price was fixed which rarely ever happens, but it’s very helpful to have an idea of the real price of things!
We wandered around the street markets, did some more shopping and tried on some saris just for fun, to see if we could pass as locals.
Anyway, in the end of the day we went to an Indian birthday party. The day before we had met this very nice family, with a little girl that was turning six the day after, and we were invited for the party. We said yes mosly because we were kind of curious to see how an indian birthday goes on. So we bought her a gift in the market and we went to their home.
We thought about not going a million times, but in the end the curiosity was too big, and thank god we went because once we got there the kids were waiting for us at the window.
The evening was really weird and the whole time we were worried if we were doing things right or if we were doing something that we shouldn’t. We were at their rooftop cafe sitting all around the table with the kids dancing and screaming. We tried to give her the present but the mother said it was only after the cake. So we waited for the cake. And waited, and waited for ages. When it finally came, we couldn’t believe we would have to eat that thing, the cake was covered in cream that tasted like chewing gum and on top of it there were spicy chips, really spicy ones!! We made an affort to eat a little bit and a few minutes later a tray with coke comes and we all look at each other thinking “niiiice”. Hummm, not so fast, the coke was’t normal coke it was Masala Coke, spicy coke!!!! We almost vomited, right there in front of the family.
At some point we just wanted to leave, the kids were screaming too loud and jumping too much on top of us. Plus, the vibe was really weird, the parents kept on going away and then coming back with serious faces, the husband was always sending threatning looks to the wife. But we stayed because we felt bad for the kids, they seemed happy. Then, the parents decided to invite us to dinner and we couldn’t find a way of escaping, we had to go.
They said the restaurant was cheap and we could have continental food, which was good for our bad stomachs. When we went downstairs to go to the restaurant, a ricksaw was waiting for us with a motorbike parked next to it. When we saw it we thought there was no way all of us wold fit inside, but they start going in one by one, and in the end we were 8 in a ricksaw with 3 seats!
On the way to the restaurant we were making plans on what to do when the bill came, we couldn’t let that poor family pay for our dinner. When we got there, the restaurant was probably the best one in town, really fancy with a doorman and many waiters taking care of us. So we thought, okay maybe they have more money and it’s okay for them to invite us and offer us dinner. Anyway, we were careful enough to choose cheap dishes and share them between us.
Once again, the vibe at the table was weird, the husband was mean and we could tell the wife was afraid of him. They ate that really disgusting typical Thali with their hands, they were eating for hours after we had already finished. And in the end, after several birps and weird noises that they made while they were eating, the check came.
He grabed the check, looked at it and passed it on to us. We asked if we would share everyhing to which he responded “as you like”, but didn’t make a single movement. He was staring at us waiting for us to pay!! He didn’t even pretend to grab his wallet, unbelievable!!
We were so pissed off we couldn’t even talk, they had invited us for dinner and took us to the most expensive restaurant in Jodhpur, and it was all to get a free dinner at a fancy restaurant!! And we thought we were invited because we were special and they liked us!!
When we got out of the restaurant we asked him for some money in the most polite way possible and he pretended not to listen and turned his back on us. We insisted and he gave us some money, but not even close to what they should have given us. But at least it was something. He was very aggressive with us but we couldn’t let that one pass.
We all went back to the hotel trying to understand what just happenned. Was it all planned from the moment we met them? Was it really the kid’s birthday? I guess we will never know!!
Now, the next stop will be Jaisalmer, which is supposed to be the best city in Rahjastan.