Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rajastan is the majestic India. Think of the palaces of the Raj, fortresses, the Taj Mahal, bright colored saris and swirling colors. The old parts of the cities are truley stunning.

However (and here I'm going to get shit) the "new" parts of the cities there remind me of Bangkok. Concrete block buildings, hot, horrible traffic and bad air. Between cities is an arid and brown countryside that to me is...well a bit like highway 99 going from Fresno, Ca. to Bakersfield. You can romantize it through a silk veil... like some people like California's "golden" hills, but growing up in California and some part of that, in the central valley, I'm sorry but those "golden hills" are rocks, stickers, thorns and foxtails that get in your socks everytime you even try to walk up there along wit stiffling heat. And then there are truckstops and truckers dotting the highways and landscape. Here in Rajastan, we constantly jousted and played chicken with truck drivers that dominate these highway and albeit they decorate their trucks in a different and unusual way than their US counterparts, they're still out there enmasse, polluting the air and dotting the scenery.
When there is green and those juxtoposition of intense color it can become very beautiful but when its not....just 'cause I am in an exotic country, I'm not going to romantisize their version of Central California truck routes. We have hired a car and driver to take us to Udaipur from Pushkar, a five hour journey and it sucks for a good part of it. Right now, I want to be back in Goa.

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