The way up north: Aurangabad to Udaipur

Well as usual, I only have a few minutes, so this will be brief! Also, my posts have been scarce because I'm staying in a small village ("Oh no sir, we are having no internet, this is rural!"), so I have to hunt down cybercafes in the larger towns.

I've been in Aurangabad for the last 6 days. I was only supposed to stay for 3, then move on to Mumbai, but the terror attacks ended that idea. It's not such a bad place to be, all things considered. India is nothing if not intense, and my time here has recharged me immeasurably, while at the same time leaving me feeling a little drained. I'm staying in my own stone cottage with soft beds and HOT showers overlooking the Ellora caves (one of the great wonders of the world), and it's running me the princely sum of 1600 Rupees/day... about $32. Good place to curl up in the corner for a while.

But it's time to move on, and my next stop is Udaipur. I've actually decided to spend all of my remaining time in Rajastan. No particular reason, but why not... I don't travel like most tourists... the big flashy sights are nice, but I prefer to stay in a place for a while, and try to absorb some of the real flavor. From there, I'm thinking Jodhpur, then Jaipur, then home.

Buying the airline ticket was... interesting... I have my ticket, but the flight is not confirmed. If enough people decide to fly from Udaipur to Aurangabad, then there will be a return flight to Udaipur. If not tomorrow, then maybe the next day, or the next. Seems like a lot of things are like that here, presenting the traveler with a choice... You can either bang your head against the wall in disbelief that they don't do things like they do at home, or you can shrug, realize that you're not in Kansas anymore, and go with the flow.

So today, that's what I'm doing. I asked my hired driver, Tenzin, to take me to the places most tourists never go... bazaars, back alley restaurants, etc. He knows some of the monks we were staying with last week (the Tibetans are a pretty tight-knit community), and we've been using him all week, so I'll go anyplace he suggests. And I'm ready for adventure: knee-length flowing khadi shirt (I call it my dress), prayer beads, and baseball cap. I think I look absolutely ridiculous, but Wendy told me over and over that Indians appreciate westerners who adopt some of the look. I do know that DOZENS of people have stopped me in the street, wanting to have their picture taken with me. No doubt they're thinking "crazy American", but it is kinda fun...

Like i've been saying, I have a HUGE number of pictures, once I'm at a place where I can conveniently upload them... I'm not in Kansas anymore :)

Right then, more seeing, less talking.


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