Friday, March 16, 2012
Riding through India
It’s been seven days riding through the desert region of Rajasthan of India with Jane and Angela; both acquaintances I met for the first time at KLIA an hour before departure.
It’s no easy task juggling between balancing my iPad on my lap and my eyesight on the road, our driver Dev Raj may be 51 years old with 32 years of driving experience under his belt, but he’s one heck of a maniac on the road; especially small narrow dingy congested roads filled with cows and gargantuan lorries; all while maintaining a steady speed of 100km/hr.
He has to be one of the safest sane road maniacs I know in India.
Today we’re spending seven hours on the road steering towards the jungle of Ranthambhore safaris; hopefully for some sights of wild tigers. After stuffing ourselves silly, and Dev Raj, with snacks, drinks and chocolates (not the healthiest to-go lunch), we’re now tucked up cool and comfortable underneath our shawls and jackets, surrounded by man-made tent we made out of our rented Innova; by attaching more scarfs and shawls against the windows to block out the ravenous sunlight of India.
Backpacking my ass.
So far, I’m safe from food poisoning, sun stroke or any form of diseases one might get out here, as far as I’m concerned anyway. Let’s hope it stays that way. And to my blessing, I’ve been indulging, more so than I’d like to admit, the wondrous Indian delicacies every single day since day two when I decided to order myself a plate of special Thali; and anxiously waited 24 hours after for any trip down hell a.k.a. toilet. Since then, it’s been meal after meal of mutton curries, kulfis, briyanis, cheese naans, etc. And yes, don’t forget canned diet coke which I absolutely cannot live without out here. NO ice, thank you.
Good bye weight lose plan. Good bye budget spending.
Hello credit card bills.
Day two in India and I already busted my budget by paying off all the money I brought, and more, to an arranged tour around India, complete with a driver and a six-seater van (comfort does have a price). And got myself a designer saree worth USD190 that same night to be worn when visiting Taj Mahal; it’d better be worth it.
Though to be fair, and in my defence, we did get a fair price as compared to what we heard our friends paid when they travelled in India; despite the fact we weren’t really living in 4-5 star hotels. Anything with a clean bed, a decent toilet with hot shower and wifi is good enough for me; though we did had a pretty shit hotel that didn’t have any of those a few days back. Guess we can’t have it all. I’ll be happy enough if we can spot even a single tiger in the safari tomorrow.
In the meantime, it’s gonna take more than the days I had and have left to understand India. I’m still clueless about this country no less than before I arrived on this land.
I have realised this though, Indian boys do seem to like to flirt a lot.