Editor’s Note: #OneYearLater continues! This is a new version of a post that was originally posted about Day 2.
It’s Day 2 in Jaipur. Woke up late due to the loooong almost 24 hour trip, with nothing officially scheduled in my itinerary. I decided to take a walk… and a fascinating one it turned out to be!
Things that surprised me:
India is COLD. Like Baguio cold. I don’t know why I had the image of India in the sweltering heat. But then again, it’s cold this time of year.
There are ANIMALS everywhere! They literally own the roads. It’s strange seeing cows walk around without a leash or someone watching them, even at night. I also saw a gang of pigs cross the street in the middle of traffic. And camels are Jaipur’s beast of burden of choice. Amazing!
Food is CHEAP. Like surprisingly cheap. I ordered a Masala Dosa and a Punjabi Thali at a nearby store (Kanha) and was surprised on the size of the portions. A similar order would cost about P1000 at New Bombay Restaurant in Manila (about USD 20) only to be amazed to find out this whole thing cost like P250 (about USD 5). I was thinking it was a small order so I was shocked to see how sizeable it was. This is the biggest Masala Dosa I’ve ever had. And yes, it’s really good.
There are NO fast food places, at least where I am in Jaipur. I’ve walked about 5km going around today, and have not seen a McDonald’s or a KFC… heck, even a 7-11. Not even a Shell! It seems I’m in an area where multinationals have not descended.
The women’s clothes are so COLORFUL and yet the man’s clothes are so drab. Men go around in greys, browns, blues. Women go around in bright yellows, purples, reds, greens. Its as if the women and men made a bet and only one gender can wear bright colourful clothing, and the women won.
The driving is BAD. Terrible, even according to Philippine Standards. I don’t think I’ve seen vehicles in multiple lanes try to “beat each other out” at toll gates in Manila, as if they were in EDSA. It seems that in Manila people learn to line up at toll booths. Vehicles dart in and out from nowhere, with horns honking almost non-stop, as if they were all bus drivers on EDSA. And I thought drivers in Italy were bad!
Interestingly, Jaipur reminds me of the outskirts of Batangas or Laguna. Still very much the countryside, still developing, but getting there.
UPDATE (11/17/2014): Something I forgot to mention in my original post. HOW MUCH WAS MY INDIA TRIP Worth?
My India tour was organized by Travelite India. My tour package took me through the highlights of the Golden Triangle (Jaipur, Agra, Delhi), inclusive of hotel accommodations, inclusive of breakfast, inclusive of my own personal driver, inclusive of my own personal tour guide per location, inclusive of airport pickup and sendoff.… and all of that for the amazing price of USD 550. That’s only about P20,000 pesos!!!
India was the best deal across my whole tour. Can’t believe what I got for that price. In case you’re curious, here’s how the place I stayed looked like.
Tomorrow I set for the sights. Let’s see what happens.