The disappointment that was Jaipur

Jaipur Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 26 › view all entries
The first thing we did in Jaipur was to visit an NGO which supports local street kids to educate them and feed them and help them learn a trade so that when they turn 18, they can set up a business.  Girls learn to make jewellry and boys to make crafts such as bags, cushion covers. water bottle holders.  Whenever you buy something a child has made the money goes straight into the childs bank account - to be given to them when they turn 18 to start a business or as a marriage dowry.  Obviously this is a fantastic idea, one that is spreading accross larger indian cities - and it was really ncie to have the chance to contribute to the project - even if it was a minimal contribution in attending the presentation about the cause and seeing the girls learning maths and making jewellry, and very nice jewellry at that.  Everyone bought something or made a contribution, so its nice to think that this money went to a good cause and not to the usual indian con men in the tourist shops.

Having finished at the NGO - we were driven into the centre of the city, but to be honest, it was just a dirty busy city centre without much charm in my opinion.  We had wanted to take a picture of the city palace but there was scaffolding and the entry fees for average interest sights were high for my meagre budget so I gave up and walked a few k's in polluted sunshine to our really nice hotel.  Sat and watched some films in my air conditioned room instead!  Was a nice afternoon.

At diner time we had booked to go see a Bollywood film, supposedly in the most beautiful cinema in asia, but our guide didnt really realise this so he cooked a better Bollywood film in a normal cinema rather than the bad Bollywood film in the famous and beautiful cinema!  Whoops.  Well after some initial grumbles we sat down in our odeon style seats - and to be fair the film was pretty good.  I've seen a few Bollywoods now and they are super super cheesy indian takes on generally Hollywood styled stories, well at least the most recent ones.  Its funny to see the difference in tastes - our guide and the cinema laughed hysterically, almost falling off their seats, to the simplest of slapstick humour.  A man walking into a glass door type stuff.  they love it!  But overall the film, about a family who live in a haunted haveli and they dont know who is doing bad things and realise its one of their new wives being possessed, was good and worth seeing.  Especially nice was the Baskin Robbins ice cream we got at the intervall.  yum yum yum!

We had a few beers and went to bed.  The next day I was pretty uninterested in the options in this town.  First of all because my budget was not doing well, and to get anywhere you have to get a rickshaw as its a big place and too far to walk, and also because the place was full of touts and beggars, more than usual, and just dirty noisy and with nothing much to offer.  But two ladies from the tour went to some fort and offered me a free seat in the rickshaw so I gave it a go.  The fort was high up on a hill you had to walk up - lined wityh the usual people selling tacky plastic rubbish and postcards etc etc  - and forcefully selling as well - and loads of beggar children, deformed beggars, who are mentally or physically disabled, sometimes both.  A minority were made that way at birth just to guarantee them a life long living from begging.  Shocking stuff.  And you can't give to everyone so you have to just walk past and ignore them day in day out which is hard on the soul I can tell you.  I did have to give one woman 5 rupee, she had some weird problem with her skin and it seemed to be severely burnt and infected all over.  She was lying helplessly in the sun at the side of the road begging. 

Anyway we walked up there - saw some mughal garden, then walked back down without going into the Fort, which is bveing renevated apparently and wont be worth looking around for a couple of years really.  Had to walk about 4 kms through more touts, beggars, and con men trying to talk to me because they were students and wanted to know more about my culture and were upset tourists were so suspiciopus of locals.  Nice try, and who knows, maybe they were being truthful, but in India, people that purposefully approach tourists are rarely truthful, and I had two people in seperate touristy parts of town give me this spiel.  Also a friend of mine who came to India a few weeks before mentioned this scam where he was shown great hospitality by some indian 'students' for a couple of days showing him around and saying, now you know we are not all bad people.  then they tried to involve him in some jewellry scam which could have turned nasty.  Honestly, these lot are jokers.  I ignored the possibly 60 or so people who had approached me throughout the day trying to get money in some way or another and confirmed my flight at jet airways and headed back to the oasis that was the hotel mumbling and grumbling!

Spent that evening watching more films in bed and hoped that the next place would be better!  This one was not for me.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: oxangu2