Taking a 5 hour bus to Jodhpur, we were shortchanged when the driver dropped us a few kilometres away from our intended destination. Ting started arguing but we got aggressively pushed out the bus verbally. Our backpacks were badly dirtied by the Rajasthan sand at the back of the bus and the driver and his assistant just offloaded them to the ground quickly and rushed off. We were extremely furious but know better than to expect perfect service in India everytime. Anyways i do not think you can get a relatively comfortable air-conditioned bus ride anywhere in the world for 5 hours that costs only USD 5 so we do not really have a strong basis to complain.
Ting was a little off her game that day so we just paid an inflated price to get to the town centre about 3km from our dropoff point. Once there we settled for a family room. The service was terrible and in the middle of the night they had a water shortage without warning us beforehand so we had no way to flush the toilet and Linda had diarrohea. Go figure. The next morning, Ting exploded in front of the reception, paid only half the hotel price and stomped off, pointing a middle finger to the owner when he tried to stop her. Day by day, our respect for Ting’s courage just grew higher. In short, i would say she had more balls than most men i knew. (especially when compared to my best man)
We settled into another hotel afterwards. Though it was very cramp, at least the water was steady and the service though i would still rank as terrible, was far better than the first hotel. Nothing much happened in Jodhpur other than eating delicious omelettes and shopping around a real crowded Indian bazaar where local Indians shop and foreigners, especially westerners were not entertained.
A massive second-hand bookstore at the entrance of the Old City of Jodhpur
The next day, Ting, Shanti and Camilia had to leave. Ting is going back to accompany Shanti back to Delhi for her flight home to Taiwan and then back to Rishikesh afterwards. Camilia had found a suitable yoga school in Ahmedabad and is taking a train there. Ting, Shanti and Linda shed tears when we sent them off on the auto-rickshaw. I too felt the agony of having to part with such excellent travelling partners and truly appreciate how following Ting’s lead made travelling India so easy, pleasurable and cheap. Officially both Linda and i admit that Ting is the best travelling teacher so far. (Ting, if you’re reading this, a HUGE thank you from us and we both love you and appreciate all you have taught us)
We spent the whole day exploring Merangarh Fort the next day. We had low expectations and were significantly taken aback by how much we enjoyed ourselves there. The history about Jodhpur’s Kings were educational and fun, the relics left me awed, the structure was a technical wonder of art and the views from atop were exactly what you would imagine from fairy tales with pigeons flying above your head, flapping wings making music from nature’s orchestra.
The compounds of Mehrangarh Fort
The next day we booked a bus to Mount Abu as a three day transit cum short trip to Bhuj, Gujarat, where our Rann Utsav Desert festival (a wedding gift from my mom ) awaits.