PushkarNovember 27 in India
In the morning we set off for Pushkar which is a smaller, quieter town centered around a lake where devout Hindus pilgrimage towards due to the abundance of temples, 300. The lake is considered the most sacred lake in Hindu mythology and many Hindus come to wash in the holy water particularly during the month of Kartika, Oct - Nov. Pushkar is also one of five places in the world that has a Brahma Temple.
Along the way we asked Ajay to stop and help is get fruit fo breakfast to which he happily did. When asking how much the fruit should be he said he will come with us. Just as Will was about to get out he said "oh no you should stay in the car otherwise he will see you are white and make you pay a lot!". I'm loving having Ajay here. Although overall we probably wish we hadn't booked the car Ajay is really understanding with our very low budget.
When we arrived Ajay said he has us accomodation for cheap and it was in the end very nice and a good location but at first I must admit I did feel pressured staying where he wanted us to stay, which was technically not part of the agreement. This begun to set me off in my down hill thoughts again. I've realised the main reason I don't like having a driver (although I would recommend Ajay to anyone who requires him), is that I feel a bit trapped and compelled to agree and say yes to what they want even if it means I compromise my needs.
Once checked in we wandered around the lake and I broke. Will was saying hello to everyone under the sun and doing all the 101 Things Not To Do in India. He suddenly had a big crowd around him of people of all ages. Let's face it he's white and therefore rare in India, but he's also just seen as a dollar sign and even more when they find out he is British! I must admit I walked away and sat down by the lake as I couldn't stand it anymore as I knew exactly what all the people wanted, but he just kept thinking everyone was being nice. Some of the kids got bored with Will and then came to sit with me. Again with only one need, money money money money. With me they weren't as subtle and I got quite angry inside. In the end I grabbed Will and we just walked away from the crowd.
This is when I broke down. I've not mentioned it yet but I've been struggling. Being in India is making me really homesick and really miss my dad. When things go wrong I just keep thinking, "if dad was here I'd be safe and fine". It's a horrible thought but if I wasn't here with Will I would probably be ignored and left alone because I look Indian. But I'm not, so I just have to get stronger and educate Will more from this craziness. We were both now super low, upset and felt trapped. Again we still had barely any breakfast or lunch so we decided to go for a shake at Sonu Shake Shop where I had a Banana, date and coconut shake and Will had a pineapple, lemon and lime juice. Then we had lunch at Ganga Falafel which I read about in a blog, where we met a mother and daughter and they made us feel 1000 times better. They said we got an amazing deal for our car and should be proud of our haggling, that we need to be more blunt on exactly where we want to go and see and they really made us feel more empowered. Phew, I think we just needed some outside perspective.
It was now late in the afternoon and so we went to see the Brahma temple which was really nice and peaceful and then we went to the lake to watch the little sunset there was and listened to to the temples playing music. For dinner we had our first try at Indian Street food, including Bhel Puri, potato balls with chana dhaal and puri with dhaal. For dessert we even found Gulab Jamun and a cup of hot milk. Perfect end to a not so perfect day.
It's time we forget about the money and feeling sorry for us and just enjoy it. We are so privelliged and it's sometimes easy to forget how fortunate we are to even be here never mind to have been able to book a driver for 2 weeks! Tomorrow is a new chapter.Read more