Saturday, 21 August 2010

My Diary of India: Sixteenth Extract

Unsurprisingly, we didn’t end up going to the palace. We went shopping and I bought a few bits and pieces before going for dinner at The Whistling Teal. We sat outside on the cushioned seats and talked about life and love and religion. Having strangers open up to you like that was really magical. We were there fore hours sat around a sheesha. Alison told us all about her divorce and Pru about her family. We wandered back to the hotel at about midnight and went to bed.

As soon as Alison and I went into the room it felt like an absolute sauna; we started sweating immediately and within seconds my bed was soaked. It was digusting. I managed to fall asleep for an hour before waking up feeling as though I had just showered. I couldn’t sleep, it was 2am and I kept thinking that this definitely wasn’t right for an air-conditioned room and had to be fixed before our early start for the flight to Cochin the next morning. I lay outside on the balcony in my sleeping bag before going down to reception, completely soaked and so angry, but there was no-one there! I lay down on one of the benches to wait and a cleaner came and found me. I told him about it and he put me in an amazing room at 3am- but I couldn’t leave Alison locked in our room. She was awake when I went in and we found the manager. I made him come up to our room, which was at this point billowing with hot air. Apparently we needed a window open because the rooms were not air-conditioned but air-cooled and fresh air needed to circulate. It got better after a bit but I still wasn’t dry by the morning and after 3 hours sleep, so now we’ve been moved to a luxury suite!

This morning, we went to Jagdish Temple, a Hindu place of worship, and the Udaipur City Palace, where the most exuberant tour guide took us around. There were some amazing views of Pichola Lake and the Lake Palace but unfortunately the lake was dry and resembled a field. The gardens were pretty though, and the grounds were ‘hireable but not affordable’ according to the hilarious guide. On the way home we went shopping again, because it’s irresistible. I saw some jewellery boxes in an antique shop and fell in love! I decided to buy them and worry about getting them to Cochin later. One was a box and the other was a miniature chest of drawers, and I lugged them both back to the hotel and plonked myself down in our new, cooler, room.

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