East meets West whilst we have a rest

We experienced night time Diwali celebrations from the safety of our hotel’s rooftop restaurant yesterday. We’d decided that, although Jane wanted to, it was best not to have the ‘Karl Pilkington fireworks in the streets of Mexico experience’ as that looked really scary.
The restaurant was very busy and we had to wait about an hour to get a table but we didn’t need to worry that the fireworks would run out as they went on for hours. In fact they’re still going off again tonight!!
So by the time we got in the fireworks seemed to be getting louder and louder. As we walked in a guy coming out said ‘it’s like all out warfare out there’ and he wasn’t too wrong. The view was great and you could see all the big buildings lit up with streams of electric lights, massive fireworks going off all over the city skyline, fireworks going off in the street below and firecrackers making huge repetitive gunshots going off everywhere. Opposite us a man was trying to have a more sedate little celebration on his rooftop by lighting hundreds of the little oil clay lamps with his young son.
The firecrackers in particular really make me jump, in fact fireworks in general make me nervy at the best of times. Tonight, however, I had quite a long list of health and safety concerns. Not only were people holding fireworks, they were throwing them. I’m sure there weren’t many lighter tapers being used and rather more firework to firework lighting going on. I did not seen any buckets of sand and nor did I see a single person wearing a luminescent jacket acting in a supervisory capacity. However, one of my biggest concerns was that we were sitting in a rooftop restaurant where our protection from the rockets appeared to be a fabric awning. Hmm.
So under this racket we enjoyed our meal. Enid was on tomato and basil soup tonight and I had Chinese sweet and sour veg. Joyce and Jane stuck with Indian and ordered Indian veg which when it arrived was a dark green slime. To go with this they also had some fried spinach leaves which they seemed to think were rather nice. I’m sorry- I know I should go local but I just can’t anymore! I want a marmite sandwich, Enid wants beans on toast, Joyce wants a juicy big steak and Jane says she could murder a curry!!
Food is not the only thing we’ve noticed is a bit more Westernised in Jaipur. We’ve also noticed that there are more shiny, modern buildings -often shopping malls. There are more cars and less bikes and the cows have gone from the streets. We’ve noticed signs everywhere in India celebrating the god Vodaphone and in fact we have an ongoing competition to see who can find the most unlikely person on a mobile phone. So far it’s a toss up between the ancient cowherd in the middle of Ranthambore Tiger reserve dressed in his traditional white outfit sitting at the water pump on his mobile and the elephant driver who, after his shift, was having a sneaky ciggy and making a call on his mobile.
TV channels are another thing. Tonight Joyce and Enid were watching ‘Come Dine with Me’ from Doncaster and Jane and I were glued to ‘Extreme Makeover- home edition’ from Michigan.They even have MTV India which we watched yesterday in the coffee shop.
Today we’ve had a lovey relaxing day walking around the bazaars of the old Pink City although its more a shade of terracotta these days as apparently that colour paint is cheaper (job lot?). It turns out the cows here are just hidden down these backstreets which were far quieter than anywhere we’ve been so far. It was really pleasant walking around with everyone wishing us a Happy Diwali. You don’t half have to mind where you put your feet though.
This afternoon we’ve spent by the pool and then at 4 pm Enid and I went to the spa for our massages. I had a lovely Indian head and foot massage and it was the 2nd best massage I’ve ever had. Best? Hacienda Xcantun, Merida, Mexico. Worst? Tortuous agony in Koh Samui, Thailand. Never ask for pressure anything other than ‘gentle’ in Thailand.
I am now feeling completely relaxed, re-energised and ready for Golden Temple in Amritsar tomorrow.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “East meets West whilst we have a rest

  1. Laura

    What, no spaghetti with onion and tomato? No bananas and custard? Plenty of apostrophes though! tee hee

  2. Mike

    Had not the fabric awning been made fire resistant though, due to the stringent health and safety measures the hotel surely has to adhere to.
    So 20 yrs. on and still a shortage of pink paint then? Isn’t it camel dung they wash the walls with?

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