Tired of Tourism (Rajasthan)


My second day in Pushkar was a little more relaxed, as my “Passport to Pushkar” (the little red wristband from the guy who hassled me yesterday) meant that most other touts stayed away from me as I was no longer a newbie, although I had not quite reached the level of seasoned Israeli hippie.

The Pushkar camel fair was gearing up, and hundreds of camel-owners from around Rajasthan had brought thousands of camels to the edge of town, to trade in – er, camels – and catch up with friends who they probably hadn’t seen since the year before. The scene was amazing, but unfortunately the main festivities had yet to start before I had to leave town for Jaipur.

Jaipur is very much on the tourist trail of India, and as such the locals are very much on the trail of tourists. Within a minute of stepping into the old city, a smartly-dressed young man comes up to me, and we conduct the following conversation:

Spooky Smartly-Dressed Young Man: “My friend, where are you from?”
Alex: “England”
SSDYM: “Aaaah, I used to have a girlfriend from England: she was from Montreal”
Alex: “Really? That’s in Canada”
SSDYM: “Oh no, I’m sorry [flicks his forehead] – I meant Manchester”

No doubt he was trying to befriend me to take me to a particular shop, or somehow extract money from me in some other way.

The touts really detract from the fun of a holiday in Asia, but can we blame them when so many “rich” tourists flood into their country each year? Anyhow, after a full day of walking around the (rather boring)sites of Jaipur and the neighbouring town of Amber, and still considering the tout problem, I was becoming quite tired of the whole tourist thing, and am now very much looking forward to becoming a “traveller” once I get through Agra and leave my guide Jackie behind next week.

But here’s a picture of a rude-boy monkey to lighten the spirit!

Monkey

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3 Responses to “Tired of Tourism (Rajasthan)”

  1. Caity Says:

    Loved this entry- can’t wait to read more! xxCaity

  2. Olivia Dixon Says:

    I remember having dinner in London with the Maharajah of Jaipur and his wife in the 1960’s, at Les Ambassadeurs. Do his decendents still govern that part of India? I rather suspect they don’t! Much love your mxxx

  3. Sess Says:

    Hilarious! I loved the bit about the tout. O, and that monkey is v cool! I am learning so much about India from your entries, much cheaper than a guide book, and way cooler pictures 🙂

    Sess.xxx

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