Well the apartment gods are frowning on me. My would-be-landlord is stalling. Apparently because of these stupid Commonwealth Games there are a lot of foreigners in town trying to do exactly what I’m trying to do: rent a fully furnished apartment for five months. So I have competition, which explains why the rents are outrageous and why my would-be-landlord is stalling (he is the only apartment I’ve seen that was less than rupees 1 lakh [100,000]). That doesn’t explain why my crazy real estate agent can’t seem to make time for me anymore. Oh well.
So I’m still in the hotel, when I thought I’d be in an apartment by now. Thus is life.
But onto fun updates: Ahmadabad was really amazing. We stayed in this incredible heritage hotel called House of MG. Each room is different and they have so much character. Makeeba and Seema’s rooms both had swings. Mine had a kitchen, a lovely seating area and a canopy bed. All the photos on the walls were very old portraits of Indians from the area. Some of them were blown up to life size and put into glass boxes (sort of odd, but it seemed to work). It was very nice. Plus, they reward you when you don’t use a lot of electricity (a gift certificate for their gift shop). Oh and I’ve decided that I love Guajarati food. It is a very unique combination of sweet and salty, which apparently a lot of Indians do not like. For me, it is right up there with dosas, which is one of my favorite foods. If you can find some, I highly recommend trying it.
In Ahmadabad we went to see a well that has a beautiful temple built on top of it. Gujarat is a dry state, so they take their water seriously. The architecture was really amazing. The temple was intricately carved sandstone – four stories of it! There is nothing above ground, but you walk down through these beautiful arches and arrive at what is now a rather sad looking well. I’m sure back in the day when they actually used this as a water source it was more appealing. Now it is just a pool of stagnant green water with a lot of trash floating in it. After being amazed by the incredible detail work on the way down, the well is quite a disappointment. But then you get to walk back up through these incredible columns and you remember why you were so amazed.
We had a rather crooked auto (rickshaw) driver that day. Apparently he sits outside the hotel waiting for foreigners and then takes them where he wants to go so he can obtain commissions from shops. He was very unhappy Seema was there, because she kept insisting we go where we wanted to and she kept yelling at him for his bad driving. At one point he just decided he’d go the wrong way down a street and caused a great deal of chaos, not to mention it didn’t really save us any time.
This weekend we are going to Jaipur. We are planning to stay in another heritage hotel. Though these hotels are a little more than I usually spend on a hotel, they seem very worth it. The hotels are sites to be seen in themselves, so you feel like you are sleeping in a bit of history.