The first morning, after a nice warm and strong shower and a good breakfast (with lots of ‘hot dogs’) we decided to go for a walk. We were staying close to the Old City of Jaipur and it seemed like a fun place to take a walk and get to see part of the city.
So we set out for a walk.
Not even ten feet from the hotel we saw our first camel! We couldn’t believe it. We knew we would see them, but here we were. Right in front of one. Doing a job that we had seen other times done by horses or oxen like when we went to Chile last April. But this was a very clear and visual ‘Welcome to India!’ for us.
We got many offers for a lift. Taxis, auto rickshaws, rickshaws like this one…. but we just wanted to walk. So we can see the people up close, their faces and smiles, the foods they were selling, the other little stores and see what life around here is all about.
These paper kites reminded me of the ones sold in Chile. We had these all the time in the spring, when the wind is strong and not raining and it’s “kite time”. But I’ve never seen kites made out of paper in the US. They are mostly made out of fabric or plastic that will stand those strong coastal winds. So this store, these few minutes here took me away from that moment to a long time ago, when I was just a kid and took me to a place very far away from here. Chile.
Here’s a short video of one of the bands we saw go by in front of us.
This was the view we had when we were walking towards this area. Mark and I looked at each other and had the same thought when we saw this agglomeration of people “it’s a protest”. My mind is racing, what are we going to do. We have our kids. Not sure where to go or what to do. We crossed the street towards the vendors selling flowers, seemed more calm and more space to be out of the way. But then we realized it was a parade. It was a celebration for something. I was relieved but also felt a little silly.
Here’s where we got talked into doing something different than we had planned. It still worked out OK, but at first we thought it was someone just hanging out being nice showing us the top of this building for a great view. But no. It was a chance for him to get to know us and talk us into going into a gallery (to buy things) inside this complex and to a “women’s cooperative doing handwork” (also to buy more things.) I’ll post these pictures later, but for now I just want to say that we never did see a woman that “cooperative”.