Pushkar Travel Blog› entry 12 of 17 › view all entries
Thankfully when Livia and I woke up, we were not in a dumpster, nor a brothel, but instead a really nice hotel, Mama Luna, which had a rooftop with incredible views of the nearby temple topped hills, and we simply chilled there for a while. Supposedly it was a cafe too. One table, two chairs, it was built for us. The views were amazing and we could see everybody else's rooftops and noticed that everyone in Pushkar has the same ridiculously comfortable chairs. We took in all the scenery, and the delightful breeze, and kept and eye out for wild ass (is it a camel? is it a cow? no, it's WILD ASS!)
After a while some monkeys appeared on a nearby roof and us being smart as we are laid out the biscuits we dropped on the floor (you have to go by the no second rule in India) and tried to lure them over. Even though they were shards of glass on the wall, monkeys being monkeys just did an incredible jump over. I was merrily reading my book and Livia was all "they're right next to you" and I turned around and there was still one across the way, but then suddently there was one right in my face and I screamed and ran because these ones were MASSIVE and obviously have rabies. Okay, maybe I'm just convinced every animal has rabies. One then proceeded to grab my bag and paw/claw through it so I went and snatched it back before I lost my life (as in my passport/money etc was in the bag... not that I thought the monkey could kill me...) and then the other monkeys started to circle us and it was really scary!
To get away from another scary situation, we went for a stroll through town. It's such a different atmosphere from Delhi. For a start, I didn't have my salty sweat dripping into my eyeballs, and secondly, people were a lot more relaxed. Obviously there was the ubiquitous tourist shops selling dangly thing and scarves in every colour imaginable, but the sales pitches would soon turn into easy conversation and adamant offers of chai. I don't know why people are so persistent on the chai, and because my trust levels are around zero right about now, I always decline. Y'know, in case it's drugged, or those ridiculously small shot glasses of chai is 200Rs all of a sudden.
We carried on walking and booked a 2hour camel sfari for tomorrow and a bit further down the road we met this amazing little girl called Puja, who was only 10 but so smart. She laughed at the idea of marriage, quite sad really, she said she saw how sad her parents were and didn't want that to happen to her.
Earlier today, I was telling Livia about scams I'd read about on other people's blogs, mainly 2 I like to call "The attack of the mendi girls" and "The quest for chapatti flour". So we were just merrily chatting to Puja, and these 3 intimidating girls came up and asked if we wanted a picture with them. I said no- another thing I'd learned from Asia 1.0, sometimes taking a picture of somebody, even after they've offered can cost you some amount of money. They then grabbed my hand and tried to put mendi on it, and I grabbed it back and they all got upset and were like "only do a little bit" and tried again. Livia made some excuse about me being allergic and then they tried to attack her hand. The scam was they appear all nice, and then mendi your hand, and say it costs like 1000Rs or whatever stupid price. Puja shouted at them to go away.
The chapatti flour quest came next, shortly after we left Puja in fact. Two little boys came up to us asking for chapatti in those little whining kid voices that pull at your heart strings. They attacked Livia more than me and in the end she agreed to buy them a chapatti. Only they wanted chapatti flour… from a particular shop. Not just any shop, they knew the best one. I said really loud “No Livia, it’s the scam I told you about”. And she knew, and one of the boys looked like he was about to cry and shouted at me but we went into the shop anyway, I think this little kid actually PUSHED me into the shop. Oh look the chapatti flour is already randomly in the middle of the shop, wait, without a price tag. And the guy typed put into his calculator, 400Rs. I outwardly laughed and said bye-bye. A bag of flour in England costs you about £1... Later on we found out that 10kgs of chapatti flour only costs 25Rs! And they thought we’d fall for 1kg for 400Rs. No. I guess if people are going to dedicate their whole life into scamming people, they’re going to come up with the perfect plan. These kids were brilliant actors, it’s just a shame they’ve been corrupted and brainwashed into doing this (and probably only get a small fraction of the ‘profit’ if anything) rather than starring in Bollywood movie.