So the big news………I found an apartment! The silly thing is that it is in the same building as the one I had identified before, just one floor down. I’m still not completely sure why the owner decided I should be down one floor, but it is actually a nicer apartment (the bathrooms are nicer) and I’m getting it for the same price, so I’m going to ignore the fact that something weird is happening here. As far as I can tell, he is renting the other floor to some Italians. That is what my agent said, but when I asked the landlord he would not comment. My moving to the first floor (2nd floor in American speak) means he has to move all of the furniture to that floor – see why this is weird. I don’t completely understand, but whatever. The lease includes the furniture, so I know they are really going to move it.
I hope to move in on Sunday, but there may be a slight delay as we have to wait for the wire transfer from CA. My landlord, despite my handing him Rs. 20,000 isn’t comfortable with me moving in until he has all the cash in hand. But definitely early next week.
Last weekend Makeeba and I ventured to Jaipur. We took the bus, which should only take 4 hours, but took 6. I can’t believe I haven’t learned my lesson in regards to Indian buses (we took a nice AC bus), but I always expect them to be on time. It is the German in me – we can’t comprehend lateness. Frankly, the bus wasn’t all that comfortable either, so we opted to fly back. When you only have two days in a town, it is really hard to justify 12 hours of it on a bus.
Jaipur is a very interesting city. Most of the historic stuff is housed in the Pink City – named that due to the pinkness of the walls. We went to the City Palace, which was frankly, incredible. At least, we thought it was incredible until we saw something even more incredible later that day (more to come on that later).
The Palace is basically three courtyards surrounded by buildings. Now it houses various museums, but in the day it was home to one of the most beloved Maharajas in India. If you ever go, I highly recommend the textile museum – some of the embroidery work there is amazing. There is an arms room too, but I’m not that into guns and knives.
One of the squares had four main doors off the courtyard that were very ornate with incredible wall paintings. Three doors had Buddha above them and one had Ganesh (he was surrounded by palm fronds painted on the wall). One Buddha was surrounded by peacock feathers. The four doorways represent the four seasons.
After enjoying the calm inside the palace we ventured outside. Basically tourists aren’t supposed to walk anywhere, but both Makeeba and I were dying to stretch our legs, so we held strong against the constant barrage of “rickshaw Miss?” and headed towards the forts. Our intention was to actually walk up the hill to one of the many forts that surround Jaipur. Instead we had a lovely walk to the edge of the city (and away from the rickshaws eventually, so it was quite peaceful). Children would stick their heads out of their doorways to shyly whisper hello. Ladies were happy to have their photos taken. It was very nice.
And we ended at the most amazing temple of marble. Set between the two hills (topped with forts) it was so beautiful and so peaceful. We spent a great deal of time walking around it, sitting on the cool marble, and just enjoying it. Ladies were collecting wood on the hills, birds were flying above (millions), it was lovely.
We stayed at another heritage hotel, but this one was not as wonderful as the one in Ahmedabad. Still quite comfortable, but I believe we were spoiled in Ahmedabad.
(Even I know when street food is not a good idea. Do you see all those pigeons! We won't even think about the flies!)