Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tales from India: Udaipur: Oh wait, that didn't happen

I was supposed to go to Udaipur after Jaipur and spend two days there, but instead I got insanely sick, off McDonald's of all things!!! I mean I was eating street food there and I was absolutely fine. It boggles the mind. Being sick in India by yourself is quite an adventure, but I really don't have anything good to say about it. I stayed in bed, drank lots of water, spent a lot of time in the bathroom (please don't say ewww because it's a fact of life, and when I could finally digest stuff I ate french fries.) So I have nothing else to say about India really because I went back to Sunita's the very next day, stayed in bed for 2 days, ventured out for dinner with Tanay and Tanushi at one point, was offered a ride to the airport by a very handsome Indian man who gave me flowers and then endured 10 hour flight with a connection in Bangkok back to Saigon. I sat next to a very lovely Korean guy on the flight back and we bonded over our love of international travel and I told him all about visiting Cambodia. It was his first time out of S. Korea and chose Thailand as his first destination (excellent choice) and after talking to me decided Cambodia would be next. Woop!
Next, any random photos I didn't post before. Mostly pictures I took to keep myself occupied during some very long car rides.

Because I was a teacher, le duh.

Tales from India: Jaipur: Day 2

So once again I've decided to go with the picture essay format because 1) it's more interesting (for you) and 2) it's easier (for me).
I will say that tour guides will tell you that you have to see this and you have to see that. Any time it's a factory where the print art, make jewelry, etc you'll be expected to purchase something. I don't, I only feel slightly bad for not doing so, and this is often a good opportunity to get into the shade.
Also, this is the day I rode a camel!!! They're much higher up that horses and they get up and down by leaning forward or behind and you feel like you're going to fall off. Best advice is to just hold on tightly with your legs, keep your upper body straight and lean in the opposite direction. So if they're getting up they usually get up on the hind legs first so your body will be angled forward (downward). To avoid falling off just lean backwards. Easy peasy!

These two little dudes were quite handy tour guides and made sure my camel didn't run into the middle of the street. Rewarded them with this tip: Stay in school. (Joking, I did give them money.)

Tales from India: A Bollywood wedding

I have to admit that even though I had visions of grandeur, white horses and elephants prancing down the street, the reality of what happened was much better. S and V's wedding took place at a hall called Tivoli Gardens. I'm sure the gardens themselves were beautiful, but the wedding was held at night so I couldn't see much. There was a long hallway lined with flowers and lights on the  way to the hall. The hall was set up so that people could have dinner during the wedding, wander over to watch the ceremony when they felt like it and it wasn't a bad or shameful thing to not do so. I always feel bad sneaking away during West Indian weddings, but there is absolutely no way I'm about to sit on the floor for 2+ hours. When I get married I promise to provide chairs.
The wedding ceremony itself was different from what I've seen. They carried the bride in on a chair and she couldn't come down until the groom, also on a chair, managed to throw a garland of flowers around her neck. Her family tried to stop him and his family tried to stop them. It was so much fun. While S and V were getting married people had the option of eating dinner or watching the ceremony (brilliant idea!) Not sure how and why things change so much, but I'm sure it's just a matter of differences between the Hindu religion in Indian vs. West Indian culture. Actually, it's a topic I'm currently doing research on, but I can't promise any answers and don't ask. Not sure why I even mentioned in.
Here are a few pictures from the wedding.