I did Jaipur out of necessity, because that was the only reasonable place in Rajasthan to catch a flight. Again, I arrived early in the morning and while looking for a place to have breakfast I bumped into the government tourist office. What luck! I booked a city tour for the same day and still had time to eat breakfast. It was just another galloping tour and I was too tired to even pay attention, but at least this way I saw the city… At some point I tried buying a shirt to change out of my traveling clothes, but only ended up falling behind my group… which I honestly didn’t mind so much, but they did and i was shortly found.
While on the tour I met an interesting young woman from Mumbai who was a lawyer at the Tata Group. She was on her annual family trip of India with her husband, kid, and mom. Besides describing the corporate culture she worked in, she also gave me useful pointers for shopping in Jaipur. Alas, this city was good for something! Also on this tour were three guys who were working in Delhi and came to Jaipur for the weekend. So, when my attention span was spent, the four of us abandoned the guide and just explored the forts and palaces on our own. I admit, they were also useful for chasing people away from my photo frames.
So, even though I wasn’t set on liking the place, there were more than a few things I did like about it. For once – the restaurants, notably the Ganesh joint on TOP of the city walls and the much copied Lassiwala. Secondly – the shopping. I could finally unleash the woman inside and at least start noticing what was on offer. (Previously the woman was concerned with carrying the goods on her back and uninterested in anything that would add to the weight or volume of her backpack. On one hand, there were a lot of tourists in this town doing the buying, but also there were a lot of vendors competing for their euros. So, after I had bargained a couple of scarves to below the price that the Indian lawyer women had paid, and the guy still begged me to buy more, I realized the potential…
If there’s one thing I regret from my Johdpur experience, is being on the wrong site of the Palace when the sun was setting and missing out on the promising shots of the Pink City at sunset.