BY Nilda Brianto (An Intern of Stepout Abroad from France)
The idea I had of India came down only a few reports on the documentary channels, the Bollywood’s movies and some knowledge about Hinduism. Indeed it is completely adventure I left without even bothering to buy a guide (something I kinda regret it later). My start was therefore made without preconceived ideas or specific of what to expect. In early June I went to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan state. Desert region, which borders Pakistan to the north-west of India, the state of 342,239 km2 is the second most popular tourist state in India. But how is the Rajasthani life closer to that of ancient India giving it a unbeatable charm.
I’ll start with a few tips to prepare your trip:
To best prepare for my journey I went through Stepout Abroad (http://stepoutabroad.com/) , an organization that is responsible for finding me my internship, my home and met me at the airport. If you’re looking serenely I strongly advise you to go through them, I get monitored during my entire stay, my visa when I left Jaipur. This is a young and friendly staff, always at your service
I had the chance to land in Jaipur in early June heat wave in full previous monsoon. It is hosted by a wave of scorching heat that I set foot in Jaipur. During my two months I have been enjoying temperatures sometimes bordering 50 ° c. Both say that adaptation to temperature has not been easy. Also, it was necessary to adopt an appropriate style of dress, farewell jeans and other synthetic materials cotton will become your best friend!
Upon my arrival, one of the first shock was driving in India. Former British colony, Indians drive on the left, at least if we could only estimate that there is a sense of movement … Chaotic is a weak word to describe the Indian traffic. Coexist on the roads all kinds of vehicles ranging from famous rickshaws, to elephants! The horn is then used either as a signal of danger but to allow other users to signal its presence in the huge brouhaha. Sometimes it replaces the flashing to indicate that you want to turn or it may just witness to the annoyance of the driver. The hazardous driving Indian can be explained by the almost total lack of training. In fact to get his driver’s license just pass a test of performing a U-turn and an eight car. Both say that very few are those who fail, and a large share of Indian drive without a license. It is also an important issue because society in India every hour 7 people die from road accidents, this staggering figure confirms the importance of taking action there or seat belt is still sparse and limitation of incidental speeds. However it is these Indian roads that I have experienced traveling in auto-rickshaws or tuk tuk to his friends
It is very difficult to describe this vehicle so I prefer to put the photo in order to set the stage.
These vehicles populate the city and become undoubtedly your most frequent mode of transport. Practical and inexpensive (for those who know how to negotiate) auto-rickshaws have been a big part of my stay. It is very easy to find an outstretched arm and you’re pretty sure to see one or more drivers approach you. First step, indicate your destination. What appears simple at first glance somewhat be a real fight, it is very important to ensure that your driver really knows the destination address, lest you find the opposite or that your driver s stops every 10 meters to ask the way. Once this step, we come to the famous negotiations.
Indeed no rate is fixed and the price of your course will depend on your persuasiveness. Course as a tourist prices that are offered must be at least halved. If ever your driver does not give up, do not worry, other drivers will be delighted to get the race, therefore not hesitate to take advantage of competition. Last step: enjoy!
Far from being the method most comfortable carrying it allows you to see through the most diverse and varied landscapes. Especially, most of the drivers decorate the interior and often outside their rickshaws to their taste and make for some real little cocoons. Neon discos ways to images of deities you enter a different world at every race!
But the best trips rickshaws remains the contacts made there and especially the drivers. Needless to say, 100% of the rickshaw drivers are men. However curiosity Indian push often to start the conversation. I learned this way a lot about Indian culture but also on the different mentalities. Of course, some will try to refourguer such as HOTEL or restaurant to receive commissions .. But I think it is important to know and trust the Indians to let down barriers and get to see the people of the most endearing .
One aspect that I would hold of India is undoubtedly the Indians. Indians are the calmest people I know, in fact, during my two months there he never happened to me to see an Indian get excited or become aggressive in a situation. Yet these are not the opportunities missed. Any traveler in India must be patient. The concept of time and schedule is very different from Western, and punctuality is not a well-known concept. Indian are extending hours and I do not even account plus the number of times it has happened to me several hours to wait an appointment yet fixed. However, once aware of the “Indian time” you learn very quickly not to rely on the timeliness of the Indians.
Another aspect that I have noticed, the Indians say only very rarely, if ever “no.” This can be interpreted as the one ashamed to admit not knowing and not being able to answer a question. This bad habit can lead you to the most comical situations … Therefore, if you are looking your way do not hesitate to ask several people to ensure you arrive at the right destination.
Religion is an important part of Indian culture. A Hindu majority also found Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and a small minority of Christians. Nevertheless, whatever the religion, the Indians can not imagine their lives without beliefs. Often I was asked the question of my religion, it is not taboo to ask this question in India. However, it seems inconceivable for Indian disbelieve. Indeed religion and especially religious traditions are ubiquitous in everyday life, the call to prayer from mosques and Hindu offerings made to many cows considered sacred Indian streets are a harmonious mix of all these religions. Similarly, the family is an important value for Indians. Within a same household rub three generations. Indeed nursing homes do not exist and it is inconceivable to let his parents live alone. A son will always live with his parents and a woman with her in-laws. Tradition has it that once married, the wife moves to the husband’s family. Therefore, family life is paramount and respect for older very important. Similarly, the hospitality is highly developed, you can not leave home without your host drinking or eating a house specialty.
Chai is the Hindi word for tea. We can also call it masala chai. It is a mixture of black tea and spices boiled in milk and water, all strongly sweet. There is no precise recipe for masala chai, the spice mixture varies depending on its origin. But there is usually cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. A real institution, found at any street corner vendor chai flock around which a group of young friends and businessmen.
Besides being delicious, Chai is an opportunity to feel. At the office, three to four times a day, the young assistant of the association used to all the staff a cup of tea. At that time everyone took the opportunity to take a break and chat with colleagues. Also during visits in villages or slums it was unthinkable to go without drinking a cup of tea burning.
During my stay in Jaipur I had the chance to travel a bit in different cities of Rajasthan. It is very easy to travel to India, but the train is a very reliable and fun way. In India there are different classes of train. The first class compartments 4 to 5 people with AC (air-conditioned) equipped with bunks. These places are of course more expensive, then the class AC chair class, rows of chairs with AC. After we find the classes without AC equipped this time fan ceilings. The last class, sleeper, the trip is with art and wooden bench seats are not assigned.
For my trip to Jodhpur I chose the flesh class (row ‘seats) without AC. The journey lasted three hours and the comfort level was OK. Throughout the trip I saw street vendors walk the train. You can obviously find a dealer who train heavily trimballe his canister of hot milk, merchants samosas (vegetarian of course), but you can also find vendors soaps, refreshing zip and even vendors padlocks and chains. Made again watch the prices that will be proposed and make sure they are the same as those offered to the premises.
Jodhpur is a city of Rajasthan that I liked the most. I was charmed by its authenticity and are less touristy side. Jodhpur is the second largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan after Jaipur number of inhabitants, it is known as the blue city as most of the houses are painted blue symbol of the Brahmin caste, but also because this color has the ability to Protect from heat and keep mosquitoes away. Jodhpur is also known for his business of “spices and miniature. The charm of the city lies in its narrow alleys or only some auto-rickshaws can move. Despite the sweltering heat that prevailed, it was very nice to walk through the old city without being collared by TRADERS as it is customary in Jaipur.
You can make very good business around the clock tower, center of the old city. This is also where I discovered the famous omelette shop
According to several guides the transition to the omelette shop is a must for any traveler to Jaipur.
This small sign that does not pay mine at first glance, will delight your taste buds. This is a kind of a small shop lost in the bazaar to look dilapidated. On dusty walls are displayed newspaper articles around the world witnessed the fame of these famous omelettes. So it’s not very reassured and barefoot as we installed inside the shop on mismatched chairs and rickety. The card offers a multitude of choices but we defer to the head in her the best of his omelettes commander. This will be an omelet with cheese, the masala and served with toast generously buttered vegetables. Both say they were living up to their reputations as much for the omelette itself as the framework in which we tasted and appreciated. Very proud of his celebrity chef was very friendly and the service was very fast unusual things in India.
In addition to its authentic charm to city center it is possible to visit several temples, the most famous and probably one of the most beautiful is the Jaswant Thada this is a beautiful white marble temple erected to the memory of Jaswant Singh II, nicknamed “Little Taj offers a moment of serenity and a beautiful view of Jodhpur. Another attraction of the city, the fort through audio guides included in the price of the ticket makes learn a lot of battles that took place there in the times of Rajputs. But most of this fort is that it allows a small dose of thrills with a zip line course through the ramparts of the fort. Besides, it is in this very tour that was part of the last Batman.