I had a muesli in a german bakery, a coffee in another guesthouse and I just came from my visit to the city palace. I did not enter the palace I rather prefered to observe the entrance with all the guides trying to talk trourists into a tour. Of course they are all “official” tourguides. They don ‘t guide indian tourists through the palace as they don ‘ t want to be treated like servants. One of the guys told me, while we were drinking chai that they all have a big Ego problem, so they wait for whities to get their money. But business is slow and everybody is working in more than just one job. I learn more and more about indian culture. I like that but it is also exhausting as indians like to talk without a break! I also gave in to foreign coffee places. It is impossible to get a good coffee in a local restaurant so I need to support the german bakery in Udaipur. By the way, the cake there is also delicious.
Udaipur is in comparison to Jodhpur a calm and lovely city surrounded by lakes and beautifully lit in the night. It almost looks romantic as you cannot see the staggering garbage in the water in the darkness. Again I found a great guesthouse, I almost have the feeling of sharing their daily familiy life. Vivek is a young man and he strives to make all his guests happy, though sometimes he is TOO much and I have to escape from sitting in their living room. Yesterday night I accidentially found myself eating with them and a couple from poland. It was really funny especially because more than half of the crew could not speak english and the TV volume was even louder than the voice ot the polish man!
What did I do in Udaipur? Well mostly I talked with locals, spent time slurping chai and having long conversations. I got annoyed and especially bored by the question “which country” so now I entertain myself with the answer ” I am from the moon”. The reactions are always different. Some people do not understand it, others laugh or feel even attacked but sometimes it leads to a quite interesting conversation where I can learn something about india.
Yesterday I talked a long time with a painter who is selling postcards. He demonstated his experience of nationality identification for me. And I havt to say his performance was puzzling! After the first 5 seconds he knew where the people where from and he was ALWAYS right! Couldn ‘ t it be that sitting 15 years on a chair, in one shop, in one city, observing and talking with people from all over the planet makes you wise? In his case I would affirm my hypothesis.
I also had a warmhearted evening with Jon and Michael from New Jersey. Jon is an actor and Michael a film maker. But they did all kinds of things, from running a health care store to renovating houses AND building their own old house which must be wonderful hearing them talking about it…mostly all of their business projects broke down after a few years, but they told me the important thing is to focus on one project at a time … I think they are very right.
Jon did a project called “the 66 chapels we cannot get married” based on oversized
photographs about wedding chapels in Las Vegas. It is his contribution on the American
discrimination of the wedding law for gays. He won a price and
the big project seems really to take off and so he is very happy about it. Also financially.
We had dinner at a very fancy restaurant with really good indian food. On the lake with a view over the
white palace. (in the night you don t see all the garbage)
I was happy not being alone that night.
They got married in Massachusetts at the 2nd day when the legislative approved that law in that state. Now it is not possible anymore
for anyone not being actually registered as citizen there. They are together for 17 years and wonderful.
In some of the pictures you can also see my little trip around Udaipur. the guesthouse mother was also part of our indian – australian – polish – german Group.
Tonight I am catchint the train to Varanassi and as destiny wants it organizes a stop in Agra for me. So I will probably visit the Taj Mahal!