24 hours in Jaipur

#My motions are an ocean

I had my first experience of the world famous Delhi Belly over the last 48 hours, and it’s not as fun or trivial as it might sound! It has given me the opportunity to experience the Indian medical system though, something that few Indians probably have the opportunity to do unfortunately. After a nurse/secretary in a sari took my blood pressure and details it was just left to wait an hour for the doctor to come back from lunch, alone in the rather dirty office with the nurse and three other empty rooms. Bizarre considering the amount of people on the street in clear need of medical attention.

After an extremely slow and unsympathetic consultation with the doctor, which involved rather more mysterious listening and poking than I am used to, he announced that I had acute gastroenteritis. ‘Probably some food disagreed with you’ was his professional advice. The nurse then have me a huge needle of antibiotics in each bum cheek and some pills to take and I immediately felt better. Today the fever is gone. My stomach is still very upset and I can only eat small amounts but at least I can operate in a wider radius from the toilet! I think it was guardia poisoning from the water or a dirty dish. I now realise just how lucky we are to take the water for granted in Australia.

#More Rickshaw Shenanigans

From day one in India we have been thrown into the impenetrable world of competing autorickshaw drivers, their selective grasp of English and the commissions they are paid from dodgy dealers and hotels. When we first arrived here in Jaipur from the train late at night we were immediately beset by a young rickshaw driver on the train platform asking all the same questions and giving all the same flattery we have already heard a dozen times- where are you from, how long have you been in India (to which have learnt to say longer than three days, so their eyes don’t light up), I like Australians, aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi, Ricky Ponting….

Nothing would shake him off. In an effort to get to the actual hotel we wanted to go to, pay the right price for the rickshaw and get rid of him we went to the prepaid auto rickshaw booth and bought a ticket. No good! He had greased the hand of the booth man and we now had a ticket with his rickshaw licence number, useless for any other rickshaw. 

Biting the bullet and getting worn down I angrily made him articulate which hotel he was going to take us to. It was like making a child apologise for hitting his sister. It took him three non-answers before he finally sank defeated and reluctantly told us our hotel name. This was just a ruse to get the ticket out of my hand, which I snatched back to withhold until we got to our hotel. 

At the hotel he apologised profusely and tried to arrange a day of sightseeing the next day, which we reluctantly agreed to. This is where we started to run into rickshaw politics, but i’ll have to finish the story tomorrow. 

Photos and more regular travel stuff next post, promise! I’m off to have breakfast on the rooftop restaurant in neo-colonial splendour.



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